Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by WhipperSnapper

  1. I got the brake pedal installed tonight! Not big news, but it is progress. 🙂
  2. I sent mine to Kanter. I recommend them. They did the leaking shock under warranty.
  3. Parts are in and the leaky shock has been repaired! We're ready to finish the frame and mount the engine / transmission. 🙂
  4. Well, I guess I'd start by asking the following: - What's your budget? - What's the extent of your mechanical abilities? - What's your timeline? Assuming that your car isn't eat up with rust, it can be restored. Yes, it will be expensive, but you certainly don't have to do a complete frame-off restoration. The big ticket items will be the usual suspects (engine, transmission, suspension tires, etc.), like on any other car. Parts for these cars are relatively cheap and easy to find. I owned a 60's Mercedes a few years back that's upkeep would make a multi-millionaire wince! Maintaining these Buicks is quite cheap, compared to many other classic cars. At the end of the day, it really comes down to you and what you want. If this is the car that you want to save, then I say have at it. You can always stop working when funds run dry and pick it up again later. That's what I've been doing on my project. If you read through my thread, you'll see that I was very ambitious about the timeline in the beginning. That was 2014 and the cab still isn't back on the frame. 🙃 Value is tough to peg because some buyers see treasure where others see a pile of junk. As an example, I paid $4,200 for my 1951 in 2014. It ran, but not well. It didn't drive because the brakes weren't working. Fuel was leaking everywhere from a busted line. The car had a nice newer (early 90s?) interior but was otherwise original. The floor pans were rusted out. The tires were junk. I still saw a $4,000 car. I knew that I was going to be tearing it down, so I wasn't concerned about those little things. If I had been looking for a good driver, I wouldn't have bought this particular car; I would have paid ~twice as much for one in better shape. When it comes to these Buicks, it's a buyer's market. The only way you'll know the value is to list the car and see if anyone bites. I'd start at $1,200 and work my way down. The car is worth more as parts than it is whole. I'd give you $100 for a decent 51' hood ornament right now! 😛 My $0.02: Bringing any car back from this point is a labor of love. If you're not in love with this car, it's probably best to let it go.
  5. Edwin, What's being said above is 100% correct. I've been doing a frame-off restoration on a 51' Super Riv sedan for several years now and can tell you, the costs get crazy. When mine is finished I will have $30-40k invested in a car that'll probably be worth ~$25k. Rebuilding the straight 8 is a chore because there's a lot of machine work involved, they're heavy(!), and replacement blocks / heads are difficult to source. It took me a long time to find a machine shop willing to take mine on. Your $4,500 estimate isn't outrageous, in my experience. I considered swapping the LQ9 (a GM truck motor) into mine before deciding to rebuild my straight 8. Doing a V8 swap presents several issues, perhaps already mentioned here. The real problem is that the rear end and torque tube work together to provide stability in the back. Have a look at my rebuild thread "Saving Grace" for visuals. You'll notice that the rear end is only connected to the frame by two springs and a hollow stabilizer bar. The torque tube attaches to the differential at 3 points to provide the rigidity. If you want to go with a driveshaft, you'll need to make significant modifications under the car. Rebuilding your straight 8 will be much cheaper than doing this conversion. I like the idea of this other car, but keep in mind that most any original straight 8 you find is probably going to need a rebuild. These engines are tough, but they don't go 100k miles with regular oil changes like modern engines. With these, ~60-70k miles is about what you should expect between rebuilds. If you could find a decent, running straight 8 with lower miles you could simply drop it in and go. This might take some time, but they do pop up every now and again. You'd likely get the best deal buying from someone who's modding their Buick. It would be cheaper to buy a nicer Buick ($8,000 - 10,000) and part with yours, given it's current condition. That being said, if you're attached to this particular car (and willing to spend the money), putting it back on the road is certainly possible and would be very rewarding. Regardless of what you decide to do, you'll have plenty of resources and support from all of us here. 🙂
  6. The machine work was (by far) the most expensive piece of the puzzle. The parts were ~ $1,500, all in.
  7. Hey guys! I'm stuck on the heater core housing. I've never disassembled one like this before. How the heck do you take these things apart? Is replacement rubber available?
  8. Ben, Did you keep the original fuel pump or delete?
  9. Hello Ben! I cannot wait to get rid of the carb! Did you have to change your intake manifold to add EFI? The FiTech (and all the other options I've seen) is 4 barrel. I was thinking I'd have to make an adapter or perhaps alter the manifold... How did you do yours? Have you noticed any extra power or other perks, aside from the increased reliability?
  10. I finished the rear brakes today! Rear shocks and sway bar go on tomorrow.
  11. Hi! Nice 51' you've got there! Welcome to the group! I just had the engine from my 51' rebuilt and let me tell you, it was not cheap. I've got a little over $4,000 into my original engine and it was running when we took it out of the car. 😕 If this were my car, I'd search out a running straight 8 motor and snag it. Shipping would be a bear, but if you can find one at the right price, you could easily swap it into your car and work on this original engine at your leisure (or keep it as a spare). Just a thought, if you haven't considered it already. Best of luck with your Buick! Glad to see another 51' being saved. 🙂
  12. I'm back! No, I haven't given up and no, my wife hasn't torched the Buick (yet)! It's been a minute since my last update, so there's progress to report. 🙂 Here's what's been done, since my last post: - The engine is back from the machine shop! - Transmission has been rebuilt and attached to the engine! - Rear differential has been completely rebuilt and mounted under the car. - Shocks were all rebuilt; one incorrectly. Oops. - The frame and most parts that connect to it are restored and (ever-so-slowly) being bolted on. The frame is coming together nicely but I hit a snag when I discovered one of the front shocks leaking. It's back at the rebuilder for repair. Once it comes back, the spring will be set and front wheels mounted! The engine and transmission will be installed shortly after. Modifications from original will include: - Wilwood front disc brakes - Electronic Fuel Injection (still working this out...) - Conversion to a 12v electrical system - Electronic Ignition - Electric windshield wiper motor - FM & AUX port on the factory radio (completed) If any of you have advice to offer on EFI, please reach out. I'm considering the FiTech Go Street 400 system...
  13. Anytime! Woodstock here. I'm hoping to have the old girl back on the road by next summer .
  14. I'm using a machine shop in Acworth. I'll post their details if they do a good job. I'm expecting the engine to be finished around the end of November. I decided to convert the front brakes to disk for my own peace of mind. There really isn't any other reason.
  15. My rebuilt shocks are back! Time to start getting the frame back together!
  16. The engine has been delivered to the machine shop! The shop will be completely rebuilding the motor, mounting the rebuilt transmission, and painting both together. I've decided to go with the correct turquoise blue, even though my engine seems to have been painted pale green - more like a 54' Buick V8. I'm not sure why or when it was painted green. Was it common for 51's to have different engine colors from the factory? It will probably be close to Thanksgiving, if not after, before it's all done.
  17. Disaster struck today. The hood was being stored outside (as it has been for weeks) and the wind blew it over! The emblem broke against the concrete and left a nasty dent in the hood. Does anyone have a spare 51' hood ornament lying around?
  18. She's ready for the machine shop. Drop off Monday!
  19. He was referred to me by the shop that rebuilt the Buick's radio. I probably wouldn't have found him otherwise.
  20. Will do! I'm still a ways off from rebuilding the dash but it'll come. I have the "before" photos around here somewhere. I'll post them when I figure out what I've done with them.
  21. Haha! This is probably the first time that Flavor Flav has been mentioned on any classic Buick forum.
  • Create New...