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Everything posted by WhipperSnapper

  1. So, I've been making a parts list using the Bob's Automobilia catalog. Are there any other parts sources that you guys would recommend? I'm mainly using Bob's for the convenience of the catalog and haven't really been doing my due diligence checking pricing and reading reviews from other sources. Are there any parts sources out there that I should be wary of?
  2. A tank engine stand is probably what I needed! Of all the things I was expecting, I did not even consider that the engine might not fit safely on the stand. Oops.
  3. I forgot to attach photos of the oil pick-up. More nasty sludge.
  4. And with that, we're pretty much up to date. In addition to the above, the frame has also been stripped of the exhaust, brake booster, brake lines, fuel lines, and steering components. I hope to have the block completely disassembled this weekend. After that, I'll begin degreasing and inspecting the individual parts.
  5. So, progress has slowed on the Buick since the initial tear down. My wife and I embarked on an extensive home remodel this summer and that zapped most of my will to tinker in the garage. Now that it's done, work on Grace has resumed. After the initial tear down, the frame was pressure washed and moved to the shop. The body was placed on a wooden frame and rolled into the main garage. Large "soft" interior items (seats, door panels, etc.) were wrapped in plastic and put into storage. All body panels and chrome was labeled and put into storage. Everything else was bagged, tagged, and organized in plastic bins for later inspection and cleaning. The next step was to remove the engine and transmission from the frame. This was a relatively straight forward process but there were a few glitches. The pressure washing had removed most of the grime but degreasing was still a major chore. A few of the bolts, especially those attaching the manifold, were tough to remove. Some PB Blaster took care of most but a couple did break off and required a great deal of patience to remove. I decided to remove the engine and transmission separately and solicited the help of a friend to keep swinging on the crane to a minimum. The engine came out easy but did not fit well on the stand. The block is very long and the stand flexed too much for comfort under the engine's full weight. We decided to improvise with cement blocks and 2x4's to insure that the set-up was stable. The DynaFlow was removed and set aside. We'll tackle it after the engine is rebuilt. With the engine securely on it's stand, it was time to remove the top end. I was surprised at the amount of grime and dried sludge that I saw as I got into it. I didn't find any obvious damage, but a lot of degreasing will be required before any real inspection can take place. The improvised engine stand was not going to allow safe removal of the oil pan, so I decided to stand the engine up vertically and pull the timing cover, sprockets, chain, and oil pan. Getting the engine safely up-right was a chore. Here, you can see the grime behind the timing cover and on the chain / sprockets. Nasty! And now, for the oil pan removal. The sludge was 3/4 of an inch thick at the lowest point in the pan! Here is the bottom end of the motor with the pan removed. The engine was then carefully turned upside down and the crankshaft was removed. The crankshaft bearings have seen better days but the crankshaft itself looks to be fine.
  6. So, I got a little curious last night and pulled the valve cover...
  7. This is not my car and I don't know the current owner. I found this one on Craigslist and figured that I'd share in case someone is interested. I know that there are some wagon enthusiasts on here! The seller has apparently done a good bit of work and the price looks right. http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/cto/4539615985.html
  8. There was very little technique in this madness! The photos make the process look a lot more organized than it actually was. We tried a few things that didn't work and improvised when needed. An example of this can be seen in the photos of the rear springs being compressed with straps and the frame rolling out on the rear drums. We did all that work lifting only to find that there was not enough clearance. In hindsight, I agree with you on the concrete blocks. We got lucky that they held as well as they did. The 2x4's also proved too weak to gain significant leverage between the frame and body, so we probably should have gone with thicker boards. Also, the casters on the wooden body frame are only rated at 450 lbs. each, so we had to redistribute the weight as the back two were beginning to warp. These do the job, but heavier duty wheels would have been nice. The method that we used was cheap, relatively quick, and it did ultimately work. No one got hurt and we had enough folks around to keep eyes on potential issues and stabalize the body as it was being lifted and lowered. I would not try this with less than five people and I would certainly not attempt this in a hurry. Removing the body from the frame took quite a while. The shop crane was a big help also. The beer was intentionally put away until the heavy lifting was done. We didn't want anyone losing focus and getting hurt. After it was all done, we grilled up a steak dinner and polished off a case (or two?) of beer. It was a nice way to end the day. I'm still shocked at how much we were able to get done in just 7 hours. After this, I will never attempt to take a car apart by myself again. This is definitely the way to do it! The same group is coming back to help reassemble once paint, chrome, etc. are done. Having help like this really speeds things along. I figure there's no reason we can't have this all done by Fall IF the money holds out. I think it's all going to come down to the cost of paint and whether or not I decide to take it on myself or farm it out. I'm still debating that. My wife did her masters at UGA, so I know the route to Athens quite well. It'd be great to get together at some point and we could even break out the beer, assuming there are no concrete blocks and 2x4's involved.
  9. I thought that it would best to start a new thread documenting Grace's restoration from start to finish. It has finally begun!!! Yesterday, a few friends and I spent about seven hours taking the car apart and tagging parts. Three of these guys are aviation mechanics for Delta, so they made pretty quick work of the disassembly. Grace is now down to the frame! I spent a few hours today cleaning off decades worth of grime from the frame and around the engine. The degreasing turned out well enough for the effort that was exerted. I've found a chrome shop and plan to drop off those bits for replating later this week. The body will be prepped for paint as and when I can find the time. We did find some rust on the front floor pans, which will need to be cut out and re-welded. I am hoping to get that done sometime before the end of July. The frame appears to be in excellent shape, so it just needs to be sandblasted, painted, and rebuilt. I'm hoping to have most of the frame work done by the end of July, but that may be a bit ambitious. Before Pics (link from my previous post): http://s778.photobucket.com/user/jos...0Buick%20Super The work that we did yesterday and today's degreasing: http://s778.photobucket.com/user/josephlong757/slideshow/Saving%20Grace There is a massive amount of work on the horizon, but I feel like we're off to a good start.
  10. Robert - Just curious, did you paint your rear differential also? Mine appears to have been red at some point. Was red the factory color?
  11. Grace's restoration has officially begun! Six friends and I spent about seven hours yesterday wrenching, bagging, and tagging. Here is the result...
  12. Thanks Robert! I appreciate all of the information. I am having a few friends over next Saturday to begin disassembling the car. We are hoping to have her down to the frame by then end of the day. I plan to tackle the engine and transmission while the body is off being painted. I contacted Then & Now about rebuilding the fuel pump, carborator, distributor, brake components, generator, starter, etc. all at once to save on time. They came back with what I consider to be some very reasonable prices! Shipping will be a pill, but at least I know it'll be done right. I am going to tackle my engine and rear differential in the same way that you did. The dynaflow is unknown but the previous owner tells me that she was shifting properly before the brakes failed. I don't know, but it doesn't leak and the fluid looks pretty clean on the dipstick. We shall see. I'll be flushing it out and resealing it at the very least. An old mechanic friend of mine (specializing in pre-war autos) swears by running 1% / gal ATF in your gasoline to keep the fuel system clean. Have you ever heard this? I did this when I had my old Benz and it seems to have worked well. He also said to put about 300 ML of cheap ATF into the crankcase 150-200 miles before an oil change was due to loosen up the crud. I did both on my Merc and never had any issues. The oil changes got cleaner and cleaner until the oil was just a dark brown vs. black. I'm considering running this regimen on Buick once she's back in service. Any thoughts?
  13. I am really excited about getting mine painted up and looking like that again. You did a fantastic job with yours! Do they sell the correct paint or did you have to get it mixed? Nice job with the hinges too! Are those painted or did you have them plated? My engine runs pretty well for having a nasty carb and low fuel pressure (due to a leaking pump, lines, etc.). I imagine that she'll come back to life with a rebuilt carb, new fuel pump, and a good cleaning. I have been careful not to run her for more than a few minutes because I don't know what's at the bottom of that oil pan. The car has 78k miles on it, so I definitely want to spend some time with the drivetrain to make sure that all is in good order before putting her back together. Which engine / transmission kits did you use and were you satisfied with the quality of them? Did you do anything to your rear differential besides changing the fluid? Speaking of fluids, which oils do you guys prefer to run in the engine, transmission, rear diffs, brake system, etc? I assume that the manual won't be much help here.
  14. Hello Jim. Thank you for the warm welcome. I am reading through your thread now. Did you get into rebuilding the engine / transmission / rear differential? I figured that someone would have posted an I8 rebuild thread by now, but I have yet to find one. Same with the trans and differential.
  15. Thanks Ed! Do you have a recomendation on which replacement speaker to use?
  16. Hello Tim! I have read your thread and I must say that it really made my day. I'm so sorry to hear about your father's passing... The photo of him and your mom standing next to the Buick after all those years was just fantastic. I agree with you 100%. I'll be keeping the car original as much as possible. Not to worry. Getting the car up and running would be great, but she needs a lot of work to get back on the road.
  17. Thank you sir. I am very excited to get started! I just can't stand seeing any car of mine in disrepair or in rough cosmetic condition. It bothers me to the point of not being able to enjoy the car. As with any DIY project, time tables and budgets seem to be more like guidelines. I would very much like to have the restoration complete in 12 months with a budget of $20k, but I suppose that all depends on what we find when she comes apart. She doesn't appear to have much rust and the interior is in near perfect condition. I sincerely hope that the drive train is in as good of shape. We shall see!
  18. What a cool find! I love the bit about the radio playing 50's tracks. I got my 51' Super Riv on Craigslist. Mine also has no brakes, which made getting her in the garage a lot of fun. These suckers are hard to push and even harder to stop once they get to rolling!
  19. Beautiful! I love seeing folks save the old sedans and wagons. The coupe / convertible hype is overblown, IMO. Wagons are much cooler.
  20. So after much research and debate, I have decided to go ahead and start the restoration on Grace. She will be kept as original as possible, with the only exception (at the moment) being radial white wall tires. This will be a frame-off restoration. We plan to get started next weekend (the 28th)!
  21. Is Then & Now that you talk about in your thread located in Georgia? There is a local company with the same name... http://thenandnowauto.com/
  22. Thanks Eric. I'm reading through your '51 Special thread now. Very interesting! I ordered a shop manual and a fuel pump rebuild kit last week. How do you find the quality of re-manufactured parts sold on eBay? I see a lot of them advertised for my car and have been wondering. Thanks for the seat belt info! Those are definitely a must.
  23. I see your point Willie. The rear end is a good example. Decisions, decisions.
  24. Thanks guys. I'll check those threads out. I really like the look of the white walls. Did these come on the car originally? This ad from the 50's shows them. So, I spent about two hours yesterday inspecting the car and making a list of what she needs to get back on the road... - New tires - New brake lines - Replace / rebuild brake booster & master cylinder - Replace rubber on steering linkage. All shot. - Inspect drum brakes. Condition unknown. - Replace window seals. If it rains, she's gonna flood. - Rebuild carburetor. - Replace drive belt - Change trans and engine oil / filters - Rebuild fuel pump. Squirting fuel everywhere! - Rubber fuel lines cracked & leaking. Metal lines seem okay. - Drain / flush radiator. Replace water pump (looks suspect). Replace all rubber hoses. - Add seat belts I didn't get around to checking the engine compression or pulling the valve cover. So, I came out of my inspection yesterday wondering if it makes sense to do this work just to tear it all apart again when I start the restoration. It's essentially double work and will be more time consuming with the car together. Why not pull the car apart, send the chrome off, and tackle these issues during the restoration? This seems to be the most time and cost effective route. I did the opposite when I had my 6.3... I drove it mostly as it was and did work as I could spare the time and cash. The result was gremlins raising their ugly heads at the most inconvenient times. An old fuel line began leaking and resulted in premature failure of the pump. The car stalled on a back road and the repair went from a cheap rubber line to a very pricey fuel pump and a flatbed tow. On another sunny day, the water pump went out and left me stranded on the interstate. Again, an expensive repair, a seriously overheated engine, and a flatbed tow home. My experience is that when you start driving a car that has been sitting, gremlins come to play and ultimately cost you more. By the way, all of this occurred after an inspection and tune-up of the 6.3. It was a much more complicated machine, so perhaps the Buick would be different. Less to fail, I suppose. Still, it makes me wonder if that's the best course of action seeing how much needs to be done.
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