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About Kestrel

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  • Birthday 10/28/1950

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  1. A day after my above post, I miraculously found a never used Trico pump, bottle, and bracket from an Ebay seller in Wisconsin. Could someone describe or post a photo of their manifold vacuum hose connecting the Trico motor and the pump's vacuum hose ? The shop manual has a blurry diagram but shows a Y shaped splitter somewhere close to the Trico motor. Probably a 1/4" x 1/4" x 3/16". My original connection is long gone. Thanks all !
  2. Yes, I replaced the original cap with a 7 lb pressure cap (Napa $7.00) designed for closed systems. The tank has an overflow outlet at its top that I ran straight down with a 90 degree elbow to the bottom of the radiator. There's a site tube on the right side. Tank was only $33.00, found on Amazon.
  3. I just finished the install of my recovery tank (aluminum) and filled up the radiator. Now I just need a test drive to see how it flows back and forth as indicated through the site glass. The capacity is only 1 liter so I hope it's enough. Either way, it fit snuggly and unobtrusively out of the way. If anyone is interested, I can provide info on the tank source, etc. My original overflow tube turned out to be badly clogged and rusted and snapped off just below where my new hose attaches.
  4. The turn signals in my '51 did the same thing. The outside lights blinked normally but the interior dash green indicator arrows flashed once, then nothing. I replaced the old thermal flasher unit (at top of photo) with an improved electronic flasher (on bottom) from Y an Zs.. Works perfect now, inside and out.
  5. Yep, probably not worth much more time and effort and no working eBay units I've seen, plus no rebuild kits available for this type I've learned. Like 55er said, use for display only. Could always fill with whiskey for emergencies 😋
  6. I guess I answered my own question. Prying it apart was worse than trying to open a fresh oyster. Can't believe the amount of rust inside. It's almost like some psycho dumped in a pound of rust, then sealed it up. Surprisingly, the rubber diaphragm is still intact, but the spring, bracket, and rest is beyond salvation. Time to find another working unit....somewhere.
  7. Has anyone ever tried to disassemble one of these pumps ? I suspect mine is not working and would like to know how it can be opened up and repaired. I see Cars.Inc sells rebuild kits. I can't test it easily since most of the vacuum and washer fluid lines are deteriorated & need replacing, as well as the lid and jar. Thanks guys.
  8. If working alone a lift is nice and keeps it steady when the final bolts are removed. 2nd on the Rem Flex gaskets.
  9. Keep in mind that if one failed the others will follow sooner than later. I faced that with my '51 Super. Only one was bad but I knew they all should be replaced with regular steel plugs. Yes, the manifold is a pain to remove but there is no other way around it. It comes off easy but will probably need re-surfacing and planning as warping is common. Not a big deal for most machine shops. My engine is a 263 cu in. I removed it as one unit, intake and exhaust manifold bolted together. After removal, access was easy. There are many ways to remove the plugs but I had a friend use his welder to drop a few beads on the plugs then quench with water. The contraction then allowed the plug to basically drop out in one piece with minimal coaxing. The worst plug was so paper thin I just scraped it out. For installation you can use a socket large enough to cover the diameter of the plug then tap it in or there are specialty plug installing tools (maybe rent one). This is a GREAT time to clean out the water passages. I took out tons of rust particles with a long handle magnet. I reinstalled the trued up manifold using high quality composite gaskets. A fair amount of work but surely worth it.
  10. The knob's set screw on mine is slotted and is tiny, easy to overlook unless you have good lighting.
  11. If it's like my '51 Super, first remove the tiny set screw on the knob and pull it off. Then to come off is is a brass slotted retaining ring that needed a special GM tool to unscrew. I made one out of this red jack handle by simply grinding off material so that it left 2 protrusions that fit into this brass thing. Then just unscrew it and the whole assemble should wiggle free.
  12. Good to hear. I'm not going crazy. I read in a Buick service bulletin somewhere due to the Korean War, certain material restrictions were mandated so Buick had to cut back in certain areas (war chrome). Maybe those trim elements had to go. And perhaps accounted for the pot metal trim items as well, like the grill mustache piece that I just sent out for $$ re-plating 😢
  13. I recently found an original 1951 Buick Magazine dated February 1951. The illustrations show all models with a piece of headlight trim running back along the top of the fender. My car is a '51 Super and I've looked at plenty of others from that year and none seem to have it. Am I missing something or did the illustrator take a little artistic liberty ? Thanks !
  14. Is anyone out there running a recovery tank on their straight 8s ? My understanding is that it improves the cooling efficiency 10%, keeps the proper coolant level, and prevents air from causing corrosion over time. I tend to overfill things and always been concerned about the barn cat licking up something bad. My engine runs in the normal range but with hotter summers, I thought it might be a wise inexpensive upgrade. I don't worry about point deduction so much. Any thoughts appreciated.
  15. Thanks Beemon. As I tinker around with these old Buicks, I'm finding more and more that the newer replacement parts just aren't as robust as the original. I never thought of bring this part to a repair shop. Problem is finding a good local shop anymore.