kgreen

1940 76C Reconstruct

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Starting over, seem to have lost my old thread.  Found a "paint ready" car in Arizona, just needed wiring and an interior.

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Stopped at an abandoned gas station for the near vintage shot.  The car trailered fine.  I answered several questions of curiosity at gas stops.  The car was missing many small parts as it was only partially re-assembled.  My understanding is that the previous owner hauled it out of the desert over 20 years ago where it was most likely abandoned as a wreck. 

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Once home, the car was disassembled to inventory concealed conditions and the true extent of work needed to resurrect the car.

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Edited by kgreen
added detail (see edit history)
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Found a chassis in Michigan, correct engine, still no wiring and no interior.  The 76C had a 1941 engine.  The engine in this chassis was advertised for sale and when I queried the seller about the engine serial number, I learned that this engine was correct for about the time period the 76C was manufacturered.  The car was a four door Roadmaster, abandoned in a barn that had fallen in on itself.  The contractor hired to push the old barn into the nearby ravine and build new discovered this and two other cars.  He wanted to keep the body to make a rat rod.  He happily had me carry the whole chassis away.

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I got lots of valuable parts such as the optional 3.6:1 rear end, shift linkage, extra shocks to rebuild, brake drums, transmission and a model of where brake lines, the gas line and such were positioned.  None of that was present on the 76C.

 

I had the engine completely machined, replacing all moving parts and had one cylinder resleeved.IMG_5187.thumb.JPG.626ce90e3f833aca9b6e7d26012652f0.JPG

 

The head is rebuilt with new valves and planed slightly to match the block.

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Engine complete except for accessories.

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Edited by kgreen
detail added. (see edit history)
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There's no education in the second kick of a mule.  I'm not even sure I remember the 24th time I was kicked, but I'm over buyers remorse.  The body wasn't in as good of condition as I estimated at purchase.  When the full magnitude of body restoration became evident, I enlisted the help of Dan, a sheet metal repair specialist.  He would be able to manufacture replacement panels with much greater skill than I could ever have and do so in such timing that I would be able to enjoy the car within my lifetime.  The picture below is the door with heavily sculpted filler.  The car appears to have been hit on the right side.  Dan has by this time, completely rebuilt both doors.

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Below is the door frame with the old skin removed.  I purchased two Cadillac doors from Greg Johnson to replace the skins.  Dan had to remanufacture several interior door components as well.

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The body was not severely rusted, just heavily abused in its' former life.  The previous owner had completely sand blasted the car then primed it.

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The rocker panels were not really designed for a long life.  They consisted on a closed box that would provide stiffening to the body shell.  The box structures readily took in water without draining well. The photo below shows evidence of previous repair efforts.

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With a little more exploration, the full extent of rust damage was revealed.  The exterior form of the rocker was a conical, concave shape with the larger radius towards the front of the car.  While Dan would be able to build new rockers, Greg again freed up some of his inventory of NOS rockers for both sides.

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Not worth saving:

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Edited by kgreen (see edit history)
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It would have been easier to buy a brand new 76C in March of 1940.  I didn't have that chance.  Here we are starting over.  I've met some terrific people in the BCA that have helped me along tremendously with parts and their knowledge.  With their help and the help of people I haven't even met yet, I should have a 76C in a couple of years that would appear to be a low mileage 2 or 3 year old car.

 

Dan began by stripping all of primer and filler.  He built a cage to stiffen the body so that it could be removed from the frame.

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The body doesn't have a rust problem, it has a dent problem.  My thought was that dents are easier to repair than rust.  It is still a big job though.

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Underside floor boards:

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The front end sheet metal was in terrific shape:

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Edited by kgreen (see edit history)
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Thanks Keith, but I will stand aside and acknowledge Harley Earl for this and many other's in the Buick line.

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12 hours ago, kgreen said:

Thanks Keith, but I will stand aside and acknowledge Harley Earl for this and many other's in the Buick line. 

 As do all of us that appreciate these fine cars.

Keith

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Ken, glad to see your post is back. I've enjoyed watching the progress of your car.

Mike

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14 minutes ago, kingrudy said:

Ken, glad to see your post is back. I've enjoyed watching the progress of your car.

Mike

Thanks Mike, I might be able to resurrect some of the early parts that are worthwhile.  Dan did some really amazing work reskinning and rebuilding the doors.  The the tail pan, oh my gosh he was an artist.

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The C-platform was new for 1940 and featured a wider body with no running boards.  That platform was used for the Buick Super and Roadmaster for 1940 and 41, the Cadillac Series 62, and the large series Oldsmobile.  Since my car was missing so many parts and required so much sheet metal reconstruction I was in search of similar cars to use as a model.  

 

The first car was a 1940, 50 series car that was part of a barn find for Mr. Earl (aka Lamar Johnson).  He was made aware of this collection by a member of the BCA Dixie Chapter.  It had been in storage for a reported 20-25 years when the owners father had passed.  The cars were a part of his collection.  This car was partially restored years ago and was mostly complete.

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The engine was stuck and has since been freed.  The missing parts are evident in this photo and is everything related to the drivers door window assembly.

 

The next big boost that I got was an invitation to Terry Boyce's beautiful 1940 76C.  The history of ownership of this car strongly suggests that it belonged to Harley Earl when new.

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I photographed every conceivable angle of Terry's car and created a photo log of each section of the car for future reference.  Some aspect's of Terry's car were unique to the Boss' special order capability such as the dual carb engine, foot operated parking brake and pneumatic shift assist.  My wife and I spent a lovely weekend in Detroit with Terry and his wife.  That meeting, that weekend, and all that help are the real reason for involvement in the vintage car hobby!

 

 

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Looking for help:

 

I'm working on the transmission and having difficulty figuring our how the speedometer gear is removed from the main shaft.  Anybody with experience have this one figured out?

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Clarification for above request:

 

I'm trying to remove the output shaft on this transmission. 

 

It looks like the speedo gear is pressed onto the shaft and does not come off in a normal rebuild.  Is that true?

 

Review of the shop manual appears to suggest that I push the output shaft out of the case with the bearing, remove the input shaft and synchronizer from the other end of the trans case, then remove snap rings and gears from the output shaft.  At that point it looks like the output shaft slides out of the front of the trans case.  Yes?

 

I've forced nothing and broken nothing so everything I have done is reversable.  Gears look like they are in good shape.

 

How does one judge the condition of the synchronizer?  Everything looks clean with no observable damage.  Where does the wear occur in the synchronizer?

Edited by kgreen (see edit history)

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Hey Ken

    2nd the I like the posts sentiment! Closely inspect the splines you can see each side of center. A well worn one was in the large trans I bought from a charm school graduate at the National in Denver. You could also compare to an nos one. I'll photo both an send pix  for perusal. Hope that will help!

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This is the trans that was "rebuilt" that I bought in Denver. You can see the wear quite clearly on the splines of the sync20180821_094229.thumb.jpg.6b7f4920cfe5582e5e18d61c8fa53bf9.jpgro. The large gear in the second picture shows rounded over corners on the teeth and pitting. No wonder he started cussing a blue streak when  I asked to take the top cover off. Lol! Good thing I've got the repair parts. Way down in the bottom, more pitts on teeth. These are areas I've seen this type of damage before, so I wanted to share this so others know what and where to look for in these large series transmissions. If the seller complains20180821_093549.thumb.jpg.5e1c008b7ae3db2bdc20ad488a398f5e.jpg about wanting to look inside, prolley better to walk away. Caveat Emptor! I think that's Norwegian for my feet hurt! Hint, shiny black painted one left in photo.

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Thanks for the pictures Greg.  I've got mine apart and it looks fantastic.  Gear teeth are not damaged nor do they appear worn.  I wonder if the donor chassis I bought last summer was a low mileage car?

 

Here's the main drive gear and synchronizer clutch:

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I got replacement bearings as part of a rebuild kit from Northwest Transmission (a source I learned of from this forum)

 

Here's the output shaft with loose needle bearings, new needle bearings are a part of the rebuild kit, too.

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The driven gear for the speedometer is shown below.  I've learned that the speedometer drive gear is pressed onto the main shaft and that the driven gear is unique to the rear axle gear ratio.  I intend to use the rear axle from the donor chassis as the axle that came with the car was from a smaller series car, has 4.40 gears and has experienced quite a bit of abuse.

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Cleaning and reassembly happens this weekend.  

 

 

Edited by kgreen (see edit history)
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Whoa, surprise package from a fellow 76C owner:

 

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I've traded with Anderson for several parts for my '40.  He owns a beautiful '41, in which I had a wonderful ride in the Charlotte, NC suburbs.  It's hard to concentrate on good photographs when you are excited and want to see everything.  Here's a partial shot of his car:

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Anderson also had a super rare part that I was missing, which he was gracious enough to sell for my use.  It is the correct vacuum switch and knob for the convertible top operation:

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Edited by kgreen
spelling - I can't always spell (see edit history)
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Labor day was a great weekend to rebuild the transmission.  I purchased a rebuild kit from NW Transmissions (based on advice provided in this forum) and was very pleased with it.  I did one automatic transmission (Ford C4) and that was easier than myth would have it.  Matt Harwood said these Buick transmissions would be easy.  Once I got over the idea that the main shaft slides forward out of the casting, and that the input and output shafts separate to lift out of the casing from the middle I was off to the races.  I had a 1941 transmission that came with the car and the 1940 transmission came from the chassis recovered from a Michigan barn last summer.  I disassembled the 41 transmission first so feel my way around.  Nothing got broken and it was in fairly good condition, but it only served as practice the desired transmission.  

 

The torque ball and universal shaft got disassembled first.  The u-jt required me to approach the retaining bolt through the middle of the output end of the joint.  It all came apart nicely.  THe 41 TB was destroyed by a thrown u-jt sometime in the past.  The inner part of the joint had large pieces broken off and lost.  The 40 TB had been carelessly re-assembled in the past with dirt between the TB cups.  The dirt scoured the cup finishes beyond repair.

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The selector shafts come out first, then the external c-clips on the input and output shaft bearings.  All internal parts of the transmission looked great. 102_0027.thumb.JPG.f125de0b9e278590bb6115a8c4c70dcf.JPG

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The rebuild kit came with new gaskets, seals, bearings, rollers for the rear of the input shaft, thrust washers,snap rings and front oil slinger.  Examination of the synchronizing gear indicated that it had no unusual wear, in fact it looked brand new.  The selector shafts and associated levers were in fine shape with no observable wear.  All teeth on all gears looked clean with no unusual wear.  Everything cleaned up just fine.  I had been concerned about wear and had discovered sources for the gears and synchronizer, but I lucked out.  The u-jt and torque ball is another matter, those are hard to find for the 70 series.

 

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3 hours ago, kgreen said:

Labor day was a great weekend to rebuild the transmission.  I purchased a rebuild kit from NW Transmissions (based on advice provided in this forum) and was very pleased with it.  I did one automatic transmission (Ford C4) and that was easier than myth would have it.  Matt Harwood said these Buick transmissions would be easy.  Once I got over the idea that the main shaft slides forward out of the casting, and that the input and output shafts separate to lift out of the casing from the middle I was off to the races.  I had a 1941 transmission that came with the car and the 1940 transmission came from the chassis recovered from a Michigan barn last summer.  I disassembled the 41 transmission first so feel my way around.  Nothing got broken and it was in fairly good condition, but it only served as practice the desired transmission.  

 

The torque ball and universal shaft got disassembled first.  The u-jt required me to approach the retaining bolt through the middle of the output end of the joint.  It all came apart nicely.  THe 41 TB was destroyed by a thrown u-jt sometime in the past.  The inner part of the joint had large pieces broken off and lost.  The 40 TB had been carelessly re-assembled in the past with dirt between the TB cups.  The dirt scoured the cup finishes beyond repair.

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The selector shafts come out first, then the external c-clips on the input and output shaft bearings.  All internal parts of the transmission looked great. 102_0027.thumb.JPG.f125de0b9e278590bb6115a8c4c70dcf.JPG

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The rebuild kit came with new gaskets, seals, bearings, rollers for the rear of the input shaft, thrust washers,snap rings and front oil slinger.  Examination of the synchronizing gear indicated that it had no unusual wear, in fact it looked brand new.  The selector shafts and associated levers were in fine shape with no observable wear.  All teeth on all gears looked clean with no unusual wear.  Everything cleaned up just fine.  I had been concerned about wear and had discovered sources for the gears and synchronizer, but I lucked out.  The u-jt and torque ball is another matter, those are hard to find for the 70 series. I'm sure I have a good used for ya. Regards, Greg J

 

 

Edited by 2carb40 (see edit history)

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Close inspection of gears and synchronizer showing acceptable condition16467638_IMG_5728(2).thumb.jpg.2ed4f728e1b6782398a7b185fbb2f59c.jpg

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Typical gear condition:

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I've maxed today's allotment of photos.  Tomorrow the completed project.

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"I'm sure I have a good used for ya. Regards, Greg J"

@2carb40 I think from the number of parts that will be on this car when finished, I'd have to say that I bought half the car from you, the other have from the initial seller.  Those original fender skirts that you graciously sold to me yesterday are a significant addition to a proper, completed car.  Thanks Greg!

(I'd brag with photos, but I'm cut off! ?)

 

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25 minutes ago, kgreen said:

(I'd brag with photos, but I'm cut off! ?)

 

Morning Ken.

Glad to see you are progressing and the car inspection finds you will have a dependable unit!

 

Sorry I can't help you with '40 Buick parts but as to the picture limitation, I have found once you reach that annoying limit sign, copy what you are trying to post, go to another thread for a second and go back to your thread. Quirky but have been able to continue posting.

I don't believe it limits us per day, just per thread posting?

Try pasting what you copied with the pictures after you go back to your thread and see if that works for you. I'm sure I have more than reached the "limit" jumping around and posting pictures on other threads in one day.

 

Good luck with that and look forward to your bragging! ?

Edited by dei (see edit history)
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@deiI understand why we have a limit, it's a matter of cost control.  Cost control isn't something that a person understands when restoring a car is it?  Not really complaining, I'll go with the flow.

 

Your idea works!  Here's a couple shots of the fender skirts that Greg provided.  These were standard fair on the 76C and will look mah-ve-lus (as Billy Crystal would say).

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All gears, shift mechanisms, seals, pins, retaining clips and detent balls in place.  I forgot one last detent on rev to 1 shift rod, but had no trouble with minor disassembly to get it in place.  I've checked the floor, the parts table, the work bench, exploded diagrams in the shop manual and my photos - it's all there.  I'll work on the torque ball later.

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