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Everything posted by 65wildcatconvt

  1. this is a tough one- not sure if i would change the carb yet, if its squirting in gas it should fire maybe would run poorly i would double check points- are they dirty- correct gap-check with dwell meter if possible, and focus on maybe a weak spark or timing issue- check timing- any way the spark plug wires could have got crossed after it was running and died-
  2. alright hey thanks to everyone-- so much great info from everyone. the roads are solid salt up here still for about one more month and my car is up on blocks, so it is staying there until timing chain and tranny maintenance is done. im not saying i am buying from rock auto . com but do any of you guys have an opinion on what you would buy of the 3 chains offered... they are down to one gear so kind of wondering where to buy a decent set, brand name, etc... i will pick up a set as soon as i get my tax refund and will probably start another thread about doing a timing chain if that would be alright, i have a general idea but dont want to mess it up as i have not done one on this engine before.
  3. now when i first got the car it ran poorly, but after getting it home and getting it running strong, but before doing any metal work i ran into a problem. when acceleratng somewhat hard maybe half throttle or more, the car would have a shudder or almost felt like a wiggle to it. at first i thought - ujoimt or driveshaft carrier issue or what? it just felt weird... so when crawling around under the car i yanked and pulled on driveshaft, ujoints etc etc but everything seemed ok. so i just drove the car easy that first summer... well you guessed it but after fixing 4 rear body mounts, i took the car out in the spring of 2013 and lo and behold 75% of the shudder was gone... now it would only have a mild shudder under almost full throtle starts. so those rear body mounts were pretty much not mounting anything ha ha. the rest of the shudder was eliminated as i moved farther up the car the winter of 2013- 2014. will try and post those pics next.
  4. here is a pic of homeade body mount made from 1/4 inch angle steel and a pcs of plate first welded to it inside from the top. these are the pics i have not found yet so i apologize for the poor photos. basically i ran steel from the inside of the existing body brace after cutting out all weak metal. then followed the path to where the body mount connects to the inner rear fender if that makes any sense. after getting this far, i then realized i can make another pcs of plate to tack over the angle steel from underneath, and with patience and some grinding i can most likely make it look very similair to a body brace. the key thing for me is again, i can do that when free time comes up and car is still drivable. the silver paint is 2 year old rust bullet, but not painted heavily around body brace as i know i will be working on it more... any black paint is rustoleum spray satin black which is just sprayed over the rust bullet as time and money permit.
  5. ok - i took these pics this morning of work and paint done 2 years ago. this is a piece of steel welded over the rebuilt rear body mount. i sprayed some primer on it just to protect it as i want to go back and regrind some of my crappy welds when time permits, which is why i held off painting the entire trunk also. remember my main goal was to keep the car drivable in summer if possible, so may of 2013 after taking out gas tank, rebuilding 4 rear body mounts and painting the rear 1/3 of car, it started to get nice out so i stopped work, put painted gas tank back in and car was drivable over the summer. the gas tank will not have to be pulled again although there is some small cosmetic work to be done to make rear body mounts look better. its hard to see but the steel is butt welded and should blend in decent with a little more elbow grease, which i can do as time permits in warmer weather while car is still usable.
  6. here is a picture of what the car looks like generally underneath before painting but after many cold hours in winter lying on your back with a wire brush , drill with wire wheel and various scrapers and screwdrivers to try and clean off as much loose scale and loose rust as possible. but i always try and remember, "hey my labor is free" what else would i be doing? maybe getting into trouble. this is a pic taken more towards the front of the car this morning so you can hopefully see what it looks like before and after paint. tools used on whole project are wire feed welder, cheap 29 dollar jig saw, cheap 29 dollar electric cut-off tool and common hand tools. as you clean and poke around like a dentist, you can find any weak spots and mark them to cut out if new metal needed. the front half of the car seems to be in somewhat better shape than the rear... this is really solid and pretty clean by up north standards for 50 years old.
  7. thank you guys for the comments and encouragement... i am a little angry at myself today as i took a bunch of pics when i was doing this work 2 years ago now, and for the life of me i cant find one of the camera cards some of the pics are on. i snapped a few this morning to try and show a little work and will continue to look for the card... here is a pic of the duluth mn - superior wisconsin harbor on my morning commute- 20 below this morning that is lake superior off in the distance frozen about 20 miles out also have been busy cutting firewood. i heat house pretty much exclusivly with wood. use around 5 to 7 cords a year. it must be split and put in woodshed by spring to dry over the summer for next winter. house is much warmer and nicer with giant used windows in, more insulation and new vinyl siding.
  8. back to buicks- i decided to start at the back of the car and work my way forward winter of 2012-2013 so i removed the gas tank and started to see what was what- this was the worst rust i had to deal with... PLEASE keep in mind i am not or have ever been a body man, a welder or whatever... i work in a warehouse, same one last 32 years and have done mechanical work but never any body work so my results are far from what many achieve on this forum. but maybe i can give some hope to the guy that is on a super low budget and may not have any skills, that you can still be involved in the hobby. it baffled me how even to fix this without expending much money or getting someone to do it for me at first, but after some thought and lots of time spent on this and other forums i decided to cut out the rotted steel and piece in 1/4 inch angle iron to form the side angles of the body braces and then weld flat steel to the top and bottom. the way i figure it, at least i am stopping the cancer from spreading and improving the structural integrity of the car which i will prove later. keep in mind, whomever painted this car in the distant past just covered up all this rot with a piece of sheetmetal from a toyota hood...
  9. spring of 2012 was also remodeling house... was lucky enough to get 2 large free picture windows from someone down the road for the price of hauling them away... we put the brown metal roof on spring 2011... best thing i ever did, snow slides right off. dont have to shovel it off any more thank goodness.
  10. couple more pics rear 4 trunk body mounts were rotted away...4 about equal hand sized rust holes... rest of trunk was very solid by wisconsin standards ha ha paint code on car was aqua blue poly.. rear trunk lid was cream, same as front clip, so some parts came off another car maybe not sure of history...
  11. alright- these pics are from spring 2012 which is when i purchased the car in iowa. the car was located around 375 miles one way from my home in nw wisconsin, found it via a craigslist ad. i towed the car home with a car hauler trailer and my trusty 77 ford wood truck. the truck has a 300 6 banger in it with a 4 spd. it was a heavy load for the old truck- max speed was about 58 mph the whole way back with the pedal to the metal most of the way...
  12. a few more- notice no grill ornament and missing trim
  13. hey i finally got some pics- this one is from spring 2012 when i first got the car
  14. wow a rust free, running, driving, 60s sweet car like that for a grand.. i gotta get the heck out of wisconsin!!! and i can attest to the drum brakes being sufficent if they are the same big alum finned drum brakes like my 65... as i was driving along a county road last summer going about 65 when of all things a wild turkey flew out in front of me... i stood on the brakes- 100% stock single reservoir (sp?) master cylinder, and all four wheels locked up and we quicklly came to a halt and missed the turkey...the car stopped straight as an arrow... i was impressed with those drum brakes. turkey flew away unscathed, so did car.
  15. thanks all- i am borrowing a camera from my girlfriend this weekend and my #1 goal is to get some pics and get them posted next week if possible so you guys will see the car is for real. found a sun tach in a box from 1982 so going to discreetly mount it in the car somewhere and set the redline needle on 4 grand. thought i heard somewhere the th400 modulater is adjusable with a screwdriver... as in possible to firm up the shifts a little, has anyone ever heard of that? its a tad mushy for me, i put a shift kit in a th400 back in 82 not sure if i want to go that route... my car is basically a "20 footer" or like number 3 condition but i am super blessed to have it and really enjoy trying to preserve it and prolong its lifespan, but it will never be a show type car so i think a few small performance mods would not detract from it. goal is to always have it driveable in the summer months so i still have 3 months to get her ready ha ha.
  16. alright, high of 2 below today but I got a chance to look at that metal bracket after sawing some firewood. turns out it goes from the front of the motor mount driver side to the bottom of the power steering pump. in my defense before you guys laugh, it must be noted the bracket was bolted on backwards to the motor mount and facing down to the ground by someone in the distant past and also I have not seen a car like this in person since 1979. first time I remember seeing a wildcat I had just started a full time job pumping gas at a full service station. I was 15 and in high school, did not know squat about cars. this guy pulls up in this car and says "fill it up" so I say yes sir and proceed to look for the gas door or cap. checked both sides of car... pulled on license plate thinking "its gotta be back here" I think I kinda bent the poor guys license plate... looked on the sides of the car again and scratched my head. finally looked under the car and saw where the filler pipe went up to... pulled on the buick emblem, thought hey this is kinda cool ha ha so ya I can be kinda thick skulled. so I took the bracket off the motor mount today and tried flipping it around and put it more towards the top of the motor and then saw that it goes from motor mount to power steering pump, at least I hope that's right this car has been kind of weird and I think it has some stories to tell as the grill was in upside down,( it took me a while to figure that out), half the exhaust manifold bolts were loose, it has a different front clip,(at least a clean straight and rust free one) there was a note in the glovebox stating the trans is original but not saying anything about the motor, from a guy in Colorado in 2005... there are some oil change stickers on the door from Chicago in the 60's, had a Colorado plate, title, and air sticker from the 90's and I got It from a guy in iowa 3 years ago that said he just let it sit for years. 60flatop you made me laugh again, I remember thinking chevies are the best when in high school, now any old car is cool as heck. and you just don't see any of these old buicks up in my neck of the woods, have never seen a wildcat under the hood before this one. the ones up here rotted away long ago. I always liked the body style and the way these cars look tho. and i really like the running gear in them now that I know a little more more about them.
  17. thanks everyone for the great info johnd- i have been wondering what that steel bar was for, for 3 years, i always just left it there in case i ever ran into someone that knew what it was for. no matter what way you moved it, it would not line up to bolt to anythlng,but makes perfect sense if there was a cable or short piece of chain on the end of it... sure is strange where a thread can take you .
  18. txbuicks-my same friends and i moved to texas in 1983 as there was no work in nw wisconsin, we drove down a 72 chevelle i had, we finished putting the motor in it the night before we left. 1500 mile trip, no shift linkage, had to leave it in drive all the time ha ha shifted it under the car right on the tranny if you needed to. im still working for the same company i found a job with down there 33 years ago up north in my home state... great memories of texas, what a great state. have a good weekend everyone
  19. 60flattop- you got me there! alright now only going 3750 rpm ha ha. believe me this is all in good fun with my excellent friends and if no race happens they are cool with that. truth is i love to hear the pipes on the car so i rev her out a little once in a while...just cant help it johnd1956- or anyone,, my car has a approx 10" long thick steel bar bolted to the block lower driver side front and looks like it is supposed to bolt to the frame??? it looks original and factory made but is hanging there, is this some kind of torque bar or something? did gm ever do anything like that?
  20. thanks for replies everyone.. alright, when i purchased this car in 2012 it would barely pull itself up onto my trailer, but did not smoke or knock so i took a gamble. under the hood basically looked like it was 100% original as in everything neglected and not ran very often. i got it home, repaired some leaks, found 3 spark plugs finger tight, looked like original plug wires etc. anyway i got lucky and it runs strong and smooth with just basically a tune up. never got around to a compression check yet just because it runs so nice but its on the list. i did some metal repair and now am prepping to paint the last 1/4 of the underneath of the car with rust bullet, as i did most of the undercarriage last winter. then changing the tranny fluid and filter as long as she is up on blocks. the tranny shifts decent and smooth, i have always been a big fan of th th400 as i had a big block 71 nova with th400 (homeade, car was originally a 6 banger with a powerglide) and a 69 chevelle with 396 chevy motor and th400 ( also homeade car originally 307 with powerglide or th350 cant remember) back in high school. i think there are 2 wires coming off the trans so may be switch pitch, it has some funky downshifting apparatus up on the carb that is not hooked up... one of the reasons i was really attracted to this wildcat was: 401 big block from factory- somewhat high compression motor 10:1 or so i think, from the factory-cool- 4 bbl carb- factory th400- kind of a slight lumpy cam from factory- that is cool as heck ha ha. and burns rubber just halfway stabbing the throttle- cool! so one of the first things i did- dual exhaust of course! my goal is to keep working on the car in the winter, and always keep it drivable in the summer if possible so i will race, just cause these are my old best friend hot rodding buddies, but will go half throttle starts and then somewhat hammer it down if i need to and im not going over 4 grand rpm even if i lose, i just love the sound of this motor! was going to hold off on timing chain one more year but maybe if time permits should do it... what do you guys buy for timing chain sets??? steel gears? napa parts? there are not a lot of motorheads around anymore so thanks for listening
  21. great story bill, ya i am 51 years old and i feel like throwing a rod every now and then esp when i am at work... believe me i love this old car and am not in a position to spend a lot of money on it right now, just very grateful i even have it. i remember reading something about nailhead engines being used to start sr71 spy plane engines in the 60s i think
  22. hello all- -30 below up in northwest wisconsin this morning so dreaming of summer. anyway, an old high school buddy of mine challenged me to a 1/4 mile race this coming summer on a deserted county road. my car is a 65 wildcat convt with a 401 nailhead engine and the th400 tranny. the running gear has not been rebuilt or touched as far as i can tell. the car has 115k miles on it i think ha ha. so i dont generally beat the car and i maintain it well, just curious what you guys would spin these motors up to with minimal chance of explosion? i love the nailhead engine but dont know much about it as we usually souped up chevelles and novas in high school 33 years ago. i am thinking 4000 rpm max... and would you guys leave the colunm shifter in drive or shift manually? car i am racing is a 69 buick lesabre 4 door i think with a 350 2 bbl carb so if i lose i will hang my head in shame. i read an article on the net a while back saying the nailhead engines have a steel crank and rods if i remember correctly heard they are a tough motor, was at a car show once and a couple guys said they tried to kill a beater wildcat they had back in the 70s and they said the running gear would not die.
  23. hello all... looking to buy a 15" steel wheel for my 65 wildcat. just need it for a spare tire, nothing fancy required. price and shipping to 55806. i will send a money order if a deal is reached, thank you.