Lawrence Helfand

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Everything posted by Lawrence Helfand

  1. Sorry but vinyl chloride film which Minnesota Mining developed in the 1930's and was the only adhesive wrapping film available at the time capable of a semi transparent photo image will not leave a shadow image or etch a metal surface with a pattern. Latent transfer of engine turning onto the steel is not possible and really quite an uninformed conclusion. Its not the shroud of Turin imprinted through decomposing bodily chemicals or the result of solar printing. Doug Sybold can believe this theory but anyone with an eye loop can easily see the machined swirls. You can replicate the same effect using a white rubber ink pen eraser chucked into a drill press. It is a very light imprint and cannot be sanded or steel wooled even with 0000 without diminishing the pattern. Only hand rubbing with a polishing paste like Flitz or Semichrome is safe to a point as you can still ruin the finish. A light Phosphoric solution can help remove light oxidation but if too strong will etch the surface. It is perhaps the lightest damascus finish I have ever seen as compared to other automotive applications. It can be found on dozens of dash boards and exterior trim but unfortunately Buick chose a very delicate process but really not the mystery forwarded here. Its not rocket science
  2. Hi Peter the reason my valve cover is black is because It was swapped out for the red original that was slightly warped and I never got around to painting it red. The one it came with was red. My side cover was black when I got it. The mileage on the car when I bought it was around 27,000 miles with a ton of dirt covering the lines. The service record showed no engine work ever performed outside of a tuneup and oil change in 1963. Five years later in was stored for 45 years and I bought it soon afterwards in untouched condition. My un restored 1941 Century four door parts car was exactly the same with red paint covering fuel and vacuum lines. I could see the factory using a remote fuel source but of course they must have plugged the drive arm hole to retain engine oil. Perhaps they installed the compression nuts and flared the line after testing explaining why they show no paint.
  3. N Nobody called you a liar except you. What I said was figurative surprise not literal accusation. Looks to me from the photo of your dash panel that someone used a buffing wheel and some aggressive buffing compound to remove some rusting and blew right through the pattern which is easy to do if you put a machine buffer to it . It also looks like the lacquer coating got hot along the edge and browned from the buffer heat which you dont see on my photo where the edge is just flaked away with age in a fractal pattern. Thats just what I see from your pic. If you look at the photo I posted you can see the lacquer stripped back by age and the un coated raw steel top section still has a pattern. Also I dont know how you could get a decal to conform to the surface of such a complex shape. The only technology for that in 1941 would have been in ceramic manufacturing my collage major where you have a printed silica and color oxide decal applied with a special shaped applicator and then high fired to a vitreous glaze easily conforming to the curves and bends of a form. On My 1941 Buick four door parts car now in Poland I stripped the remaining lacquer from the dash panels with lacquer thinner so I could remove the oxidation from the bare areas with a mild solution of phosphoric acid and finishing with a hand rubbed Flitz polishing paste. Came out pretty good and I did not lose the pattern to much but some areas became fainter from working it where there was rust pitting. I finished it with rattle can clear lacquer for a decent result. I have had several dash panels to resurrect in the pursuit of finding a better set for my Century sedanette and found them all to suffer from the same condition and have not seen any display a smooth un turned surface where the coating has come off. I still find it hard to believe Doug thinks decals were applied having never seen any evidence of one myself. I would expect after forty years of industrial arts restoration work I could tell the difference. But all that said I am open to evidence of being wrong about the technique for this finishing process. Sorry you were offended Neil none was intended.
  4. Sorry I cannot believe Doug said that. Just to remove the old turned finish takes some work. You must have gotten something mixed up talking with Doug. It is rather obvious it is a traditional damascene finish and not a decal . My own 41 has pretty good panels. they were quite tarnished but I carefully hand worked them and they look pretty good but a lot of my lacquer is flaked off and occasionally I freshen it up by softly hand rubbing it with Flitz paste so the bare metal wont tarnish. I have considered stripping the remaining lacquer and respraying the tinted clear. Neil it sounds like your panels were buffed smooth removing all the turning before you got it perhaps leaving nothing left for you to see. Read page 68 of Andersons book 1941 Buick restoration facts. In this photo you can clearly see the tinted lacquer has flaked off the top and the un coated damascene finish remains above. No decal just un plated steel.
  5. Hi Neil, The original engine turned panels were not decals. Plain un plated steel panels were engine turned on jigged presses and then sprayed with either one of two tinted clear lacquers. Once the lacquer starts breaking down they inevitably begin to oxidize which is why nice un rusted originals are so scarce. When cleaning off the oxidation one has to be careful not to over buff the shallow circular abrasions or they disappear..Just imagine if Buick had used an alloy instead of steel like all the aircraft and race car dash panels we love.
  6. Couple of notes..first off the early part of 41 production the engines were painted grey as were the 1940 models. 115 days into 41 they switched to red. The carbs are natural finish including the tops and the bases were painted gloss black. The tops were never painted front or rear. Linkage of course was natural finish. Again I refer to Anderson's book of 41 buick restoration
  7. Here are some pics I took today showing the red paint thats still visible on my fuel and vacuum lines. There is very little left but a few spots of red. I had thought that the lines to the carb had been masked but as the photo shows on this vacuum line indeed they were not. My fuel line is covered with heat shielding but it has some paint on the bottom side as well. I am guessing the brass compression nuts were masked with a piece of split rubber hose rather then tape for speed and cost as they would be reusable and quickly applied or perhaps they used a rubber masks for fuel pump carbs and distributor that Incorporated that feature, just a guess of course. So you can see some paint on line to advance unit ( the other lines attached are pickup wires from a Petronix) and fuel lines to carbs as well as fuel pump. I am surprised to learn that Doug Sybolds award winning cars were not done this way and my guess is the judges didnt know any better but surely Doug did. Original is whats correct and doing your own thing because you think it looks better is of course taking liberties but to then claim its original is rewriting the history of Buick production line methodology. If you are going to all the trouble of getting your car correct then it should be original which is the point of the exercise of preserving history. My own car has many changes to improve its reliability and performance as I drive it regularly but if I ever decide to repaint my motor I will definitely paint the lines if for no other reason then to remember and preserve how Buick built their cars with fully assembled and tested engines before chassis installation. It would be pretty nice to find an original Buick mask to put on the shelf.
  8. Here is a good place to sell but in order to do that you would have to have a price which is extremely difficult. Also exposure is limited as not every Buick collector is a member of AACA The easiest venue and also having the largest exposure and potential for some money is Ebay. Pretty much every Buick collector on the planet scours US Ebay and indeed there are Buick clubs around the globe. Some trinkets are worth a surprising amount. Start your auctions low with no reserve and let the market determine value. My condolences for your loss and best of luck finding a good home for all Dads Buick booty! I went through this process after my folks were gone and its not easy.
  9. I suggest you get a copy of Restoration facts for 1941 Buick by William C Anderson and read page 37 . You will also find many of the answers regarding your questions about what is factory correct for your 41.
  10. I do I am positive my under 30K mile motor was never repainted having not been owned by a collector but by an elderly woman and had been in neglected but regular use until 1968 and then stored away for 45 years before I got it. It was caked in decades of dirt from unpaved oiled roads of the Northwest somewhat preserving the original paint.According to Anderson the motors were assembled for testing and then painted with masking covers over exhaust manifold carbs fuel pump distributor etc. The lines on the right side of my motor are all painted all the way up and over the water pump after which they appear to go natural showing no previous paint. All the original un restored motors I have seen like the one in my Century parts car were exactly the same in this regard. Cant see Buick removing all the lines before painting so all fuel and vacuum lines close to the block got painted and those protruding from block to carbs and advance got masked and remained natural.
  11. My unrestored 41 Century still has its red paint on the fuel and vacuum lines on the right side and its mostly gone on the left side.
  12. Buick painted the motor compleatly assembled with masks on carbs etc and fuel lines were also painted red when everything was spray painted
  13. The summit fan replaces the original on the fan pulley. I cannot imagine what might be wrong with your engine and have never heard of anyone experiencing these symptoms with their Buick eight. Guessing you already checked the rear carb intake counter weighted butterfly to make sure its moving freely and not opening prematurely which might lean out the mixture by sucking air through the rear carb before secondary linkage opens up the main jet. It does sound like your problem is with carburetion.
  14. Actually in regard to the wiper motor the factory does not suggest any lubrication is ever required. Only occasionally putting a few drops of light oil on the cables where they contact the cable pulleys is suggested in the workshop manual. In general the action of the wipers is a good indicator of vacuum and the state of intake manifold gasket gasket integrity which is usually the culprit outside of a bad vacuum line or low compression.
  15. May I suggest that your accelerator pump plunger is not doing the job. If it is not sealing well it will not squirt enough gas into carb off idle it will stumble under load. Check by looking into carb and opening throttle to see how strongly its injecting fuel. There are 3 positions on the pump linkage that determine volume by limiting or increasing stroke. If it is in the shortest throw try a longer stroke position and see if that helps. The Buick does have high heat under that hood and not the best venting so shielding your fuel lines with heat wrap does help. Buy the Velcro type so you dont have to take anything apart. Never use high octane gas! Your best bet is non ethanol low octane not available everywhere but you can go to the website and locate stations that sell it nationwide. Also 6 lbs of fuel pressure will overwhelm your float valves and installing a pressure regulator is a good idea if you plan on using an electric pump full time. It does sound like you require a pump rebuild as they marginal at best and are compromised by poor vacuum. If your wipers run slow your vacuum is too low. Regarding ignition I run Petronix pickup and flame thrower coil with slightly hotter plugs and of course fresh plug wires which are Packard Bell nothing fancy. A slightly advanced timing over stock which was meant for mid 70's octane fuels of the period also improves performance economy and cooler running. For cooler running in traffic I fitted a Summit racing fan with more blades that pushs alot more air at idle. In hot weather its always a good idea to crack the hood after its parked as engine heat will really soar when motor has stopped, Good luck!
  16. I am looking for a Renault R 16 with manual transmission Lawrence 718 496 2386
  17. There are three issues for every car. First is it correct? Only an expert in the marquee or your own due diligence can help you. The plus here is the internet and some research on your own can get this done without assistance. Second a knowledgeable mechanic to access the functionality of the cars systems and third an auto body and paint and interior expert to access the structural and cosmetic issues. You will not easily find someone to do it all. Appraisers are superficial in their assessment but usually have a sense of the market which is important to manage your investment decisions. Before you spend your money know the "one to buy" rule.
  18. Hi Gary, I drive a 41 Century and when I started driving it I tried to anticipate the light changing to be ready given the amount of time it can take before you can slip into first gear without a crunch. I came to realize that when behind a tractor trailer drivers realize it takes a moment longer before it pulls away and slowly as well and that it is to be expected. Thats also what drivers expect when a vintage vehicle is in front of them and like a truck expect a leisurely departure. You should not feel any need to be apologetic for your pace. I have never been honked at for a slow start. I always keep my distance from the car in front for braking room which is a definite necessity in a world of four wheel disc brakes and phone distracted drivers. Enjoy your time machine and dont worry about the frenetic drivers around you. Your 39 is royalty in a world of nameless appliances and enriches other drivers otherwise boring travels. They will likely tell someone about the cool old car they saw!
  19. Hi Matt, Great to hear how well the limited is running. I have been enjoying my 320 as often as I can which is usually an evening drive I take a loop the includes local roads and high speed driving on the Hwy 40 super slab. These cars are such a pleasure to drive its hard to convey the experience. The power and speed of this 78 year old car is amazing. Regarding the oil you are using I have been a Mobil 1 fan since the 1970's and have been a believer in synthetics. I have been using various non synthetic and blended synthetic oils but I recently switched to Shell Rotella for my Century at the suggestion of some of the AACA members and am very impressed. The difference is readily apparent from cold start to high heat conditions. It has never run so smooth and cool or felt stronger. It also drips less from the rear seal then it ever has. My motor in 3000 miles of driving has never required me to add a drop so I cant say if it is any better in that regard but I wouldn't be surprised as its made for diesel engines that are running 13/1 compression. If your gas mileage is what you think it is that is kinda mind blowing!!! Cheers Mate!
  20. The gear vendors unit is alloy and not that heavy and only adds about 25/30 lbs to the drivetrain. Most of the weight is in the steel flanges and bolts and some weight is removed by shorting the torque tube and inner shafts. The feel is imperceptible during operation or on poor surfaces. I do not see any increased stress on ball joint or any other aspect of the drivetrain by adding an OD. The rigidity of the installation is off the charts being a unit designed for 1000hp plus drag racers to make them viable as street cars. The joy of driving that big torquey motor in od is worth every penny of the 4500$ investment.. My Century is transformed on 55 mph country roads or cruising at 70/75 mph while turning under 3000 rpm. If I had a special or super gearing with a 248 it would be the first improvement I would make. I have not calculated gas mileage yet but it has definitely improved some .
  21. Hi Matt, That surging might be your advanced timing. I had experienced throttle sensitivity on my car after pushing my timing forward and tried a more aggressive technique to tame it but I decided to retard it a little to good effect and smoother throttle response.
  22. Never been a fan of those extra bumper ends especially on a sedanette where it detracts from the line of the rear fender. Indeed to much bling. Your gorgeous limited could do without them. Only thing worse from my perspective is a giant wind catching windscreen visor and dual spotlights. I don't even like whitewalls except on ragtops and never on a formal car.. Less is more on a beautiful car.
  23. I love how methodical you are Matt and now I will have to check my airflow with a synch meter which I didnt do on mine. With idle mixture screws I always use the same approach as I do with the Dellorto carbs on my Ducati's which is screwing them in until the motor starts to stumble and then backing out until rpm picks up and smooths out. Now I will need to get a vacuum gauge like a real tuner! My chokes are set light enough to be fully open in about 2 minutes which is plenty of time for it to settle into a nice smooth idle. Its not an easy motor to stall even when cold. Seven minutes seems like a long time. Cant wait to hear how it feels out on the road!
  24. Hi Matt, Make sure that rear idle screw is backed away from choke cam so it cant make contact as the front carb screw will now control the idle speed for both carbs. Also I moved pump arms to the shortest throw. Guessing you already did that! Thanks for the kudos! Your limited with the new improved breathing is likely picking up another five hp easily. The 1952 320 with the quad was rated at 170 hp and I think it had a lower compression ratio. Dont know if they changed cam lift or duration or if hp increase was just better breathing. Might now be a 41 unlimited!
  25. My 41 factory timing specifications presume you are using fuel with the octane rating of 1941 which was under 80. Many cars including my old Toyota had an advance adjuster on the distributor for the sole purpose of ignition advance or retard depending on octane of fuel. If you set your timing to prewar factory recommendations your ignition will be retarded and you will run a little hotter and use more fuel. I use an 86 octane non ethanol regular and have advanced my timing quite a lot and to excellent effect. I suggest advancing as much as possible without inducing pre ignition under load which will become apparent by accelerating in top gear from low speed with full throttle. Using vacuum as an indicator takes octane into account in real time and will be a better path to good timing then factory flywheel settings which are no longer relevant unless your using 76 octane gas.