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Everything posted by JohnD1956

  1. According to my 56 manual, only the Special had a lower powered engine in 1956. The century, Super and Roadmaster all had the exact same drive train. Considering the Century has less weight from it's smaller dimension, it would naturally be the fastest, but the Super and Roadie ought to perform exactly the same. For that matter, if you subscribe to lighter cars ought to go faster, the super ought to out perform a Roadie. BTW, I like my Super, and I don't consider it to be a large capacity washer. But I do agree that naming a version of the LACROSSE a Super is a mistake. JD
  2. What nice cars. It's a shame to sell them. Sure wish I had the $$ to buy one. JD
  3. You're right. The chrome strip is around the base of the roof, not the lid of the trunk. I guess I still call the whole back end the trunk from my childhood days.
  4. The gas tank renu process came in two finishes. A silver color that replicated a new tank uncoated, and a black finish that was wrinkled like the undercoating. I had mine done with the undercoating since my car is also undercoated. Looks like it was never out of the car. JD
  5. I didn't know thay made this car. I had an 83 once, and it had this engine from some third world country, a 1.8 something or other. It ran pretty nice. It was fun to drive but alas, they were prone to head gasket failure and when that happened head cracking too. I had to give mine away and the guy who got it had to change the motor to keep it running, but he did get a few years out of it afterwards. I also had a 86 Somerset T-Type with the 2.5 engine and a 5 speed transmission. Now that car was actually the tops. It'd be nice to find one of those again. 42 MPG, and awesome radios, the fat little tires, the stick, It was a blast. I should have kept that one. JD
  6. Well AZ, under the circumstances you describe, I wouldn't do anything except put it on the road and begin driving it. I think one thing you can expect is some engine stumbling from aged gasoline. If the car has been run in recent years, you can either drop some STP ( red bottle) additive in the gas, and put a new fuel filter on, change the oil and filter and then take it out to burn up the old gas, or go the more expensive route and drop the gas tank to drain it, clean it and then blow out the gas line. The thing is this, if the car was in moderate dry storage, chances are nothing ever went bad with the old tune up ( plugs, wires, points etc.) . What you want to do is prevent water and other debris from entering the fuel pump and carb. You can get a simple straight through gas filter at NAPA and add this to the engine end of the fuel line before the gas goes into the carb. The rest needs some use for you to determine what needs to be replaced. Now here's a few things to watch for: While warming the car up, look for or sniff for gasoline smell. If you smell it or see it, stop and start replacing the rest of the rubber gas line. Once warmed up, look for bulges in the radiator hoses and heater hoses. Please, this should be done when warn enough to get heat out of the heater but with the engine off and ( honestly) with the keys out of the ignition. Those metal fan blades are unforgiving and no point taking a chance. Also look under the car for leaking fluids, including back by the gas tank. Often times the flexible line to the tank end of the fuel line will get dry rotted and allow the system to suck air. And another thing to do is pump the brake pedal a few times. Obviously if it goes to the floor, you got a broken line. Not so obvious is a leaking wheel cylinder which will give you a slow sinking of the pedal. You need to look at the back of the tires on the bottom for a stream of brake fluid just to make sure. Once you get into your third tank of gas you should begin to see much better performance from the engine and a reduction of the stumble. Until the stumble goes away, try to avoid rush hours. Lots of people love old cars, untill they are blocking them from the nights first beer. JD
  7. Your year car has only three methods of attachment. Start with the black plastic strip which slides into the track on top of the back seat. Then there are four snaps for the boot. Two on each side for inside the interior. On the outside, there is a thick plastic piece that slips under the lip of the chrome surrounding the trunk. Start at the center of the boot and the center of the trunk, and slip the plastic under the chrome, then continue to work around each side. You will have to make sure the top is all the way down. The original boots will be tight when installed, but they will make it around if the top is all the way down. For my 69 GS 400, I put the top down till it is partially folded and ready for the verticle ride down into the well. I close the two handles to retract the hooks into the top's frame. Then I make sure the top is folding evenly at the point between the ribs. Then I put it down some more but not all the way till I push the top material between the front ribs back so the top material clears the back of the back seat. This gets the top completely into the well. Also, if the boot is old, I suggest you only do this in the blazing sun. That will heat things up and make it all more pliable. Then just leave it down as long as you have dry inside storage that is.
  8. AZ, what do you think the car needs? Have you taken any pictures to share? Especially of the parts you think need refurbishing. JD
  9. Waldo 1 and Waldo 2, one more thing. After the first day of letting the cylinders soak in the PB Blaster, get some clean rags ( old tee shirts) and try to gently wipe the insides of the cylinder walls and piston tops each day to remove surface rust. Then leave the job with a fresh coating of the PB Blaster for the next days soak. This may help in precenting scoring of the cylinder walls as you try to rotate the engine in a few more days. Also, <span style="font-weight: bold">do not</span> try to turn the engine with the starter. I think that is too much torque, and if things are jammed it will just make things tighter. Plus it will only turn one way with the starter. When you start to rotate the engine, you may have to rock the engine back and forth a bit with generous lubrication from the blaster. Have you checked to see if there was oil in the oil pan by chance?
  10. I'd let an expert rebuild the carb. It's more than just taking it apart and putting it back together. Plus it will need to be soaked to ensure all the passages are clean. If you can, I'd suggest asking if you can watch while it's done, so as to get familiar with the guts of the thing, and how it's done. then you'll be much comfortable with doing it next time. If you want a recommendation I can give you one, this fellow did my 56 and both 69's and I was able to set the 69's on the engine and not have to readjust the carb when done. As to the fuel lines, I agree, Disconnect at both ends and blow compressed air through. That will be sufficient, there is no where for trash to hide in there. As to the fuel pump, is it a dual action pump on the 53? The dual action pump has a line to the carb on one end of the pump, and a line to the intake manifold and windshield wiper motor from the other. If so once again I recommend just getting a rebuilt one. These require a special procedures to assemble. If memory serves me right, you have to have a special tool to deflect the wiper motor side while installing the gas pump side. If it's not dual action then the rebuild is pretty much a simple take apart, clean and reassemble. As to the gas tank, if you really do not trust yours, I would recommend the gas tank renu process. I did my 56 that way and it wasn't really cheap, unless you consider the cost of having a custom tank made. In this process the vendor boils out the tank, checks for leaks and holes, cuts the top of the tank open to ensure interior rust removal in entirety. For me they fixed two large dents ( don't even ask how I managed that )in the process . They can also patch up any leaks present. Then the tank is welded back together, coated inside and out and baked in a process similar to a plastic-coat job. My tank looked new in the end, and the metal is encassed for future protection. Since tanks are not so easy to come by, plus a new one today will not be made of the same guage metal, I felt this process was superior to a new tank. Of course only time will tell if I did the right thing, but it's holding up for over two years right now. Good luck JD
  11. Could this be a dealer promotional item? can't say I've seen anything like that before. JD
  12. Hi John, I might be able to give you some information here. Before I start, let me warn you that this may sound negative. However, it is very satisfying to see a Chapter come together. My qualifications come from taking the initiative to organize the Upstate NY Chapter one year ago. In January I drafted a letter to be sent to members listed in the last roster from the BCA. I sent that letter to 40 people and also to a few people driving Buicks at our local cruise in's. Out of that number, approximately 35 people showed up at the meeting to sign the petition. This was the easy part. In the last year, we have had to launch a newsletter, pick initial executive board members, create a web site, draft two budgets ( last year and this year), organize monthly meetings, run one election, open a bank acct, devise a bookeeping system, and have some events with the cars, plus approve a set of by-laws. We had a picnic meeting and our first Holiday party. Now we are working on a logo, and hosting a car show in 2007. I cannot take credit for all of this. No one person can do it alone. Thus when Jake says you need critical mass, there is a lot of truth to that. However critical mass alone is not asa important as a group of members who share the vision and are willing to put small parts of their personal lives on hold for the benefit of the rest of their club. We are extremely lucky to have a lot of people willing to do this. Considering the list of things above, here is what I recommend: 1) Do the initial letter thing. The members in the roster are looking for friends local ( or semi Local) to share experiences. Don't count on this site for members. If you peruse the thread about who is on this site you'll see many active posters are directors of the various chapters they are involved with. 2) Pick a restaurant that will allow you to have lunch and then hold a meeting. We went for a Sunday afternoon ( 1-4 pm) because that is a gap period for many restaurants here. The ones we have gone to have been very generous in allowing us time to hold our meetings. 3) Before signing petitions to ask for a Chapter, try to make sure you have that core group of members I spoke about. Start a by law project, and discuss what posessed the people to show up at the first meeting. If you can meet these expectations, then sign the petition. If you can't, you'll know. don't kid yourself. If you start this, they will be looking to you to organize and bring them through the first critical years. 4) Immediately do something fun with the cars. Tour to local museuems, or cruise nights, or a sports event. Bring the spouses into the mix too. do something that appeals to them. A Chapter is not just about the cars, it is about friendships. When I see these Chapters together for 20-40 years, I am sure it is because BOTH halves of the relationship are respected and considered. 5) Drop most everything else in your life. As I stated when I started this response, the work is time consuming. But the rewards are out of this world. I'm happy this Chapter got off on such a good start. And I was heartened to see the comaradie when we celebrated our first year anniversary this weekend. Think this through, and then have a blast. To me nothing is finer than seeing a long line of Buicks traveling together... Keep us up to date on your efforts. Good Luck JD
  13. See, this is why I like Buicks. Generally you can just clean em and go. Good job Sintid JD
  14. Not to worry about the novice part. I think you are wise to post questions when you think something is not right, and before permanent damage is done. First lets talk BCA. The Buick Club of America is an international club of Buick Owners. It is not limited to model, year or state of condition. Nor is it leaning towards your intentions for refurbishment or restoration of your car. Everything Buick and everyone are welcome. Membership has as it's major advantage , a monthly newsletter which often has advertisements from many parts dealers and individuals. The articles run the gammut of chapter activities to restoration details and do's and don'ts. Some really helpful stuff. Of course you found the forum boards where many people will lead you in the right directions. Here is the web site for the main club. There are Chapters all over , perhaps one is close to you? There is a membership application available on the site. PS: I'd recommend getting first class membership, because you can beat Mr Earl to all the parts , but don't tell him I told you that. Actually my son and I each belong separately, and sometimes his third class mailing has beaten my first class mailing but mostly the magazines come in within a week of each other. Now lets talk cars. There is a tool as mentioned above which is slipped between the door and window handle and the chrome ring behind it. Sometimes if you can push that back ring in towards the door panel, you'll see the special spring clip resting in it's groove. The spring is a "c" design and clips into matching grooves on opposite sides of the door and window handles. The tool has a backwards "c" meant to slide into the groove and with a push, will dislodge the spring clip and then the handle will pull right off. A word of caution: Put your finger right behind the middle of the "c" so you are pushing the spring into your finger. If you don't, on occasion the spring will launch off to parts unknown when you push it out of the grooves. So use your finger as a stop to prevent the loss of the spring clips. Tell us what you have done to the engine so far? If nothing, I recommend you immediately go to a NAPA store or equavilent where you live and buy 4 or 5 cans of a rust penetrant called PB Blaster. Then start spraying a little around the edge of each of the exposed pistons every day for about two weeks. If you can get the spark plugs out of the other head, you should also spray a blast of this penetrant into each spark plug hole. Let them soak in this fluid and in about two weeks you may be able to see if the motor turns over or if it wont. I'm pretty sure that will be your first clue as to the repairability of the engine. BTW, make sure you get PB Blaster and not WD 40. Blaster is a petroleum distillate which is supposed to have a catalyst for loosening rust. WD 40 is a drying agent which displaces water and makes things... well...dry. You really do not want the cylinder walls dry when you start to try and turn that motor over. Keep us advised on your progress. Good Luck. JD
  15. Tom, I am a member of the ROA for two years now. I don't really have an opinion on the current topic of conversation. It is too bad though that some members have not exhibited more control in their responses. Truly some fingers were typing while the brains were overrun with emotion. And that is the point when people in a voluntary organization should be walking away, and waiting till a calmer time prevails. JD
  16. You'll find this is a lot of fun. However, you don't sound like a novice at this. Have you done engine work before? Having the head off sounds like someone went in for a case of overheating and or oil burning? You probably have rusty cylinders at this point which will need some polishing. I didn't notice where you were located but there are some good sources of parts. Have you joined the BCA? It has a great magazine with a lot of good vendors listed. Also which model is the car. Some of this trim may be attached differently on the various models. I can tell you about my 56 Super, which is not the same body as the special but they may be close. For the front window there are two very small phillips head screws on the end pieces. These are in the vertical rise right inside the door jamb. When these screws are out, the trim can be pulled towards the outside and back of the car. The top just slides into the top piece of chrome. The bottom also slips into the piece for the wiper arm base, but there may also be a clip in the turn that the trim rides onto during installation. As to the wiper arm , they do pry off, then the base has a slotted washer style chrome ring that needs to ne unscrewed to remove. As to the top piece of chrome, on the super, this piece of chrome installs when the window is put in the car. It becomes an integral part of the seal. It won't comeout unless you remove the glass, and if your window is good, I would leave it alone. As to the side trims, if this is a 2 dr Riviera ( Hardtop) model, then you will find screws up in the window channel that hold on the chrome trim. The back glass is another trip. I found the nuts on the clips for the outside trim right next to the window seal on the inside. This area was accessible once I removed the inside rear window trim. The Super has another piece of chrome that goes around the seam between the trunk body and roof, so that a small piece of roof is visible. the nuts for this are accessible by reaching up to the area of the trim through the trunk. Good luck JD
  17. Hi Waldo. Welcome to the Club forum pages. There are quite a few 54 Buicks in the club and you have hit a great place to get advice. One thing to know is that Buick engines are pretty tough, and there could be simple reasons your's won't start. while replacement engines are available, you may find your's can be fixed and not replaced, which would help keep the value of your car higher in the long run. How about starting us out with a few pics in the me and my Buick forum. And tell us what you have already done to the car, plus what the prior owner claims was done. I'm sure there will be a few questions you can answer right away, like how long ago it ran last? Does the engine turn over when you hit the starter button and not catch, or does it not even turn over? Do you have a new , strong battery? Some of these things will spark other questions from members to help diagnose the problems. Good luck and enjoy your car, Also look up Zonda 12 here in his thread on his 38 Buick. A few more teen aged men here and we may have to dedicate a thread to you guys. JD
  18. If you pull those lines out to clean them, you will wind up replacing them. Blowing air through is probably all you need for cleaning purposes. It is probably also all you need for bursting weak areas. Sorry to be so negative, but I would suggest one of three things. Either bite the bullet and get replacement prefabricated lines installed,-Or- Get comparable sized steel brake lines with appropriate flared connectors, in lengths you determine that will allow you to bend up a new line and install it. The key here is to make some preliminary measurements to see where you have the ability to install and tighten the lines to the connectors, and the result is not too visible. -Or- hook up what you have and pray for no leaks. This has happened in the past but is probably temporary at best. JD
  19. Stupid Cadillac's. But that does not justify buying a foreign car. People are just blindsided by advertising. There is no such thing as a problem free car today. Still, Foreign cars ride harshly, have uncomfortable seats, feel cheap and sound anemic. Untill, that is, you get to the more expensive models. Meanwhile if someone shops the big three they can get a car that matches the top foreign models in all these areas in a much lower ranked vehicle. When I bought my 93 Regal my brother ( who is a mechanic who refused to work on anything without round headlights ) said: You'll hate that front wheel drive. It doesn't last. they ride like crap after 30 K. But I can report he was wrong. With 157K I'd take that Regal anywhere. What did wear out was the padding in the drivers seat. Even so the car still rides very nicely. And it is far more comfortable than any Honda or Toyota I have ever been in. I say Go BUICK!!! JD
  20. Those single finger salutes are only done because those idiots realize your car is paid for and you're even having FUN in it..A concept thay will never understand since they have to keep working to pay for their extravagence. Beautiful car by the way. Hope to see you in Rochester! JD
  21. I like the rear vents on the 95 Riv. Not that adjustable but they really help even out the temp in the car, And especially help the AC by cooling off the back seat what with all that glass back there. The 93 Regal also has outlets under the front seats which blow to the back. They seem to work as no one ever complained back there. JD
  22. Alrighty there Dandy dave. Glad to see someone else from our chapter here. John De Fiore #3757 JD
  23. Jan, High compression ought to give you more power. Gas consumption however will be a direct effect of how much you put your foot down when you experience all that extra power. High compression would also dictate a higher octane gasoline ( more costly here in the US) but as I understand it, the high compression in that vintage year may not be high enough to warrant higher octane fuel.
  24. Oldcarposters: I'll take a stab at that picture, I'll say 62 Wildcat. JD