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Posts posted by TxBuicks

  1. I'm ok with anything that encourages more driving. Speaking of more driving, when did we get away from driving events at the Nationals? Now it is all bus tours. Not only is it more fun to drive our cars, but it is one of the best marketing promotions the club can get. Imagine the sight of 100+ Buicks driving to these museums. The public will eat it up. If you didn't drive a Buick to the show, I'm positive you can get a ride with someone else. Good driving memories that I recall from recent Nationals include the amazing drive of over 50 1959 Buicks in Colorado, the drive to the Drive-In in Seattle, the wonderful drive to Jewell in Iowa, etc. I know they didn't to this in Portland, but what a wonderful time it would have been to drive to the falls. Anyway, I think there should be a driving event at every Nationals. I encourage future meet planners to include at least one.

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  2. There are certainly other options for those who drive their Buicks and feel like their cars are not 'good enough' for an award in the 400 point judging. If it is over 25 years old, you can consider the Archival class. The Archival judging doesn't really care about the condition, just that it is a mostly non-modified Buick. I have always driven to the shows and rarely had a Buick I felt 'good enough' to win an award in the 400 point judging. In fact, I have never won an award at a National Meet. I put it in Display only. And I am very proud to see my Buick parked on the show field next to all of the other show winners. I respect the time and effort it takes to maintain and drive a show-winning Buick, but that's not always in my budget. Display only gives me the chance to participate with what I bring. I'm ok with that.

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  3. I'm biased toward wagons. They are much more scarce than sedans. Restoring a wagon will be more interesting and challenging than a sedan. Keep it. And you should have a larger audience for the sedan parts if you decide to part it out to help fund the wagon.

  4. About the quality of parts versus the cost.  More often than not, I don't know the difference in quality by looking at the part, or even knowing the manufacturer. Typically I walk into my favorite auto parts store and ask for a particular part.  They usually have several to choose from, all will work as a replacement part that I need, but the price range can vary a great deal.  I never know who made them or what country they were made in. They are the ones that the store has in stock.  Which one do I purchase?  I don't know.  If they all will work, and have the same warranty, I typically will buy the cheapest.  And why not?  Here is where I put my trust in the auto parts store.  I trust them not to sell me inferior parts, no matter what I pay for it.  And I have my opinion on which auto parts stores not to visit because I perceive their inventory to be inferior.


    Recently I had the need to purchase a brake master cylinder for a 1974 VW Beetle I was working on. They had a new one for about twice as much as a rebuilt one.  I physically looked at both and they were identical, and both had a lifetime warranty.  With the warranty the same, I purchased the rebuilt one. It seems to work just fine.  Will it last as long as a new one?  Who knows?  But I bet it will last several years, and that's all I needed.


    I feel like the highest quality parts (and service for that matter) come straight from the dealer.  And, of course, you will pay much more from the dealer.  It may be just my opinion, but if I want the highest quality parts and service, price being no concern, I feel like I have to go to the dealer.  I rarely have a bad experience with a dealer, but I go in knowing I will pay extra for the quality.

  5. Thanks for the compliments on registration.  Back when the local chapters would bid for the National Meets, each chapter had to figure out the registration process on their own.  Every year, the local chapters had to come up with a program for registration.  And that always seemed to be a major concern for any local chapter thinking about bidding for a National Meet.  Sometimes, I felt it was a major reason chapters were reluctant to bid on one.  I wrote the registration program for our first National Meet in Texas in 1996 and offered it to any chapters wanting to use it for future meets.  I didn't get any real interest until after the meet in Kokomo. I re-wrote the program for our second meet in 2004 and again offered it to future meet considerations, but this time I offered to help the local chapters by setting it up and training them on how to use it.  After a few years of that, I approached the BOD and my wife, Michelle, and I then offered to do the registrations ourselves from then on.  We could feel the relief from the local chapters, knowing the registration process was taken care of. It has worked out great, and Michelle and I learned and have made improvements every year.  The registration process, once a major concern to the local chapters, is no longer a factor in bidding for the National Meet.  We will continue to do the registrations as long as we are wanted.  In an effort of full disclosure, we do get paid a fee per registration and our travel expenses are paid, but we have not had any problems getting the job.


    Having said all of that, chapters still have to step up and bid. When the bidding stopped, there was a definite need for a National involvement, and thus the National Meet Committee was formed. I give some credit to the NMC because they were needed at one time and did what they were supposed to do.  However, the bidding process should not have stopped just because a NMC was formed.  I don't think that was communicated to the membership well enough.  Everyone thought that there was no longer a need to host a national because there is this committee and they are doing it now.  However, as stated above, the role of the NMC should now be one of consulting with local chapters when needed.  But, when no one steps up to offer to host one, the responsibility falls back on the National Office. Someone has to do it, or there will be no National Meet.


    On another note, Michelle and I are not doing the registrations for 2016.  The National Office is.  We will pick it back up again in 2017 in Milwaukee if they want us to do it.  We haven't received an official invitation yet, but it is still early.

  6. More progress yesterday tearing it all down.  Here are pictures of the pinion gear (what's left of it). I don't know how this thing ever ran after looking at this. I determined it is a limited slip setup (posi-traction), 3:23 ratio, 8.5 inches.  I found pieces of the posi-traction brackets and springs in the differential case.  My shop manual tells me the Auburn limited slip differential is not servicable and should be replaced as a complete unit.  Does anyone know about that?  I also posted a picture of what happens when you hold the slide hammer (used to remove the axle bearings) a little too close to the slide hammer.  One thing for sure, I'm learning as I go.





  7. Even modern cars break down unexpectedly.  When I hear people afraid to drive their old cars on long trips it tells me they don't drive it enough on short trips to have confidence in the car.  The way I see it, if you drive it a few times a week around town or on shorter trips, pretty soon you'll have 500 miles on it.  Well, then you'd be confident to take it on a 500 round trip the next chance you get.  Driving it on short trips often will give you the confidence to take it on longer and longer trips.  And I don't like driving an old Buick on a long trip after a repair until I am confident the repair is done and over with.  For instance, if my car is overheating and I suspect it is the radiator, I wouldn't just change the radiator and start off on a long trip.  I'd drive it around town until I'm confident the radiator fixed the overheating problem.  My point is, drive it on short trips, get to know your old car, then you won't worry about the longer ones.


    And having roadside service is a good idea, too.  Just in case you need it. One time I had a flat and then realized the spare wheel was not for the car. The bolt pattern looked close but wouldn't fit.  I never used it before so I didn't know it until I tried it on the trip.  I explained it to the roadside service and they dispatched a truck out that had the capability to remove the tire from the bad wheel and put it on the flat tire's wheel.  That one service was worth what I paid them for a year.

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  8. It wasn't making any noise that I could hear.  It just broke suddenly.  I have the differential apart and the teeth of the ring gear and pinion gear are worn down and rough looking. The are definitely chewed up. It was completely dry, so I guess the oil must have leaked out slowly over the years and I honestly never checked it.  Lesson learned. 




  9. My 1991 Roadmaster wagon broke last week.  Wouldn't go forward or backward.  It wasn't long before I realized the problem.  I saw the drive shaft spinning and the rear wheels not spinning so I know it had something to do with the rear end gears.  I pulled out the differential assembly yesterday and, yep, the ring gear is almost toothless, and the pinion gear is too.  My question is, how does the pinion gear come out?  I know I have to remove the U-Joint and the yoke from the front of the differential, but then does the pinion gear just push out through the back end of the differential housing or is it pressed in?  This is my first attempt at rear end gears so I want to know what I'm getting into.  And the shop manual just says 'remove the pinion gear and shaft' but it doesn't say how.  And I'm thinking the big bolt that holds the yoke on is going to be fun now that I have the differential gears out there won't be any resistance keeping it from spinning when I try to take it loose.  Probably have to jam the yoke somehow while I take the bolt loose.


    Any thoughts on any of this?


  10. I'm not doing the registrations for 2016, but if I am asked to do them again for 2017 I will put a place on the registration form for the forum name, then I can print it on the name tags.  I think that is a great idea.


    I wish I could have made the forum gathering, but felt I was too busy at the registration desk to leave it unmanned for several hours.  Fridays are our busiest days at the show with about 1/3 of the attendees arriving on Friday.  Maybe next time we can have it after 5:00.

  11. I've been told that trailer parking will be at the Walmart next to the hotel, and there will be someone from the club there to help with parking and security.  If you win an award and are not at the banquet, they will mail it to you afterwards.  You can also request a copy of your judging sheet after the show.  There will be a form in your registration packet for that.



  12. Chad, John is correct.  There is a standard $35 fee for BCA members which all registrants must pay, no matter what they intend to do at the show.  This fee primarily is used to offset the cost of the show.  Then a Car Corral space is an additional $25, and you can park your car there from Wednesday thru Saturday.  Although the registration deadline has passed, we can still get you registered.  Just fill out the registration form and send it by email to BuickNationals@verizon.net.  If you don't know how to scan it, just send the information in a standard email.  You can pay by credit card or at the show.

  13. If you have ever met or worked with Jeff Brashares or Nicola Bulgari then you know what kind of people they are.  Both of them love Buicks and the Buick Club of America and I have no doubt they will put their best effort forward to make the 50th Anniversary a special event to remember.  Just bring your Buick to participate and enjoy the celebration along with other BCA members from around the world.  You won't regret it.

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