JohnD1956

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Everything posted by JohnD1956

  1. I may have the models wrong but I do plan the V6 with the bucket seats. JD
  2. Thanks John, but I have another set of heads as well as the exhaust manifold. My spare heads came off a motor with close to 190K on it, so I guess I'll send them to a machine shop first, and when they are ready I'll tear it down and replace all those gaskets and the exhaust manifolds too. All I need is 9 months of SUMMER, right now (as he's freezing in NY state) JD
  3. Thanks gents. I do think that it's a beautiful car. Although I haven't seen one yet, we did test drive a Lacrosse, and if the Lucerne is as quiet as that, then I'm in the market for sure. The Buick site Doug and I looked at had a list of standard and available options for the car. I'm thinking I'd like to have the CXL with the v6, as I can't stand the thought that the starter for the Northstar V8 is under the intake manifold. That just seems like an expensive repair waiting to happen. the only thing I'll miss is the fog lights. JD
  4. May sound totally stupid, but make sure you have gas in the tank. My 56 would run out every year on me at least once because of erratic fuel guage. Happily I can now say that is fixed. JD
  5. Philippe, I don't have technical information, I only have experience. I have not had a 67 or 68 430 motor. I have had 4 69 big blocks. The time tested one went 199K Then I put another motor in the car from a 130K car and sold it. Neither of these had piston slap that I knew of. The other one I currently have is a 69 electra 430 with 120K and I am having some problems, mostly from not using the car. When I used it daily it did not have any problems either. The engine I had with piston slap was a 78 Buick 350. I bought the car used, and the original engine needed a set of lifters. That engine was quiet on start up but the lifters kept dropping when I used the car for about an hour straight. I brought it back and the dealer convinced me he should just drop another engine in it. The replacement engine had I don't know how many miles but it had the piston slap from day one. The engine was purchased from Wilberts in Webster NY and Art convinced me that the engine was solid and would never break down. He may have been right but I couldn't take the noise. Since I had never heard of piston slap before that I tried numerous things to eliminate the noise. All to no avail. Put several hundred into it too but it still made that fluttering noise on occasion and it made me crazy. This was the engine my friend told me had alloy heads and the heads were known to be problematic. This car could not get out of it's own way. I liked it for it's styling but I was completely dissatisfied with it's performance. Then I bought an 79 Lesabre wagon with the buick 350. I know the car had been for sale for three months, and it was parked on a hill front end up. I figured if any engine would make noise it would be that one, but the day I stopped to look at it it started right up and was completely quiet. I bought that car and drove it about 10K and it was completely different than the 78. This car moved quite nicely and I loved the way it drove. The lifters in that one would drop too after about three hours drive but then they would come back up. I never could figure that one out so I just changed the lifters and was completely happy. Problem was I liked the 78 Electra better than the 79 Lesabre Wagon. So I swapped the engines and sold the wagon. The guy who bought the wagon, now with the piston slap, drove the car almost 50K over three years. He was a scout master and that car was loaded to the hilt many times and he loved it. The noise didn't bother him one bit. Then the "good" engine in the Electra started leaking antifreeze into the cylinders and I gave up. Traded it in on a Ford Conversion van. I was just so pissed I wouldn't touch another Buick at that time. Of course I came back to Buick in 1993 with the wifes Regal. And havent heard piston slap again. Sorry I couldn't give you more technical data than that. JD
  6. Which Carb is on the car, there could be three of them. The 2 BL, the Carter 4 BL or the Rochester 4 BL. This information will allow us to give you information on how to refurbish the switch. JD
  7. $1,500 is being taken for a ride in my opinion. The timing chain and gear set with gaskets would probably come in less than a hundred dollars. The typical mechanics rate for this job is three to 4 hours. I wonder if you can find a set of 72 heads from a 350 and bolt them on the engine? Here's a few more things to keep in mind. The heads on your engine are some metalic compound. The 70 to 72 heads are cast iron. The compound heads may blow out the head gaskets due to differences in the heating and cooling rate to the other engine parts, but a set of head gaskets is not that expensive either. These engines are also prone to piston slap from out of round pistons. Before you dump $1,500 in the car I would recommend the timing chain replacement and then see if the thing will run. At that point you'll know if the engine has piston slap. If not, just have the head gaskets done. You may be surprised how long that Buick will run on it's original build. Here's one more thing to watch for. The water pump does not have to be removed from the timing chain cover to replace the chain and gear set. There are 4 larger hex bolts which do have to come off but the smaller ones can stay put. And you are probably better off if you leave them put till you get the chain cover out of the car. The smaller bolts have a tendancy to get corroded in their sleeves due to the oxidation between aluminum of the cover and the metal of the bolts. Chances are on an engine that has sat a while disturbing one of these will result in breakage. However if the cover is out of the car very often you will find the stub is sufficient to grab with vice grips and twist out after generous application of a penetrant such as PB Blaster. Meanwhile I would also recommend the water pump be replaced along with the timing chain set. The pumps are like $20.00 and when you have it out the bolts can be coated with an anti-oxident compound to prevent this seizure in the future. I got something from an electrical shop meant to prevent corosion between the copper and aluminum wires. I just put a little of that on the shaft of the bolts befor einstallation and it keeps things free for a long time.
  8. Is the original one still on the carb? You may find that to be still okay. They can be taken apart and cleaned and reaassembled ( without lubricants) and will continue to work just fine. And it's not rocket science, but it is a cool feature. JD
  9. Is this where they would have put the automatic headlight dimmer? JD
  10. I agree you need to bypass the starter button first, but then you need to consider the history of the car for the last few years. Has it sat a lot? is the battery several years old ( a weak battery cell will drop out all of a sudden and that starter needs all the power it can get). Are the battery terminals clean ( this includes those on the junction block on the drivers fender and the solenoid? JD
  11. Don't be offended Big, but your screen name is what is most likely wrong with it. A wobbly timing chain and gear set. Luckilly it's a Buick so the parts are inexpensive but it will cost a few hours labor to do the job. However, know that this engine was the lowest rated HP of all the options in it's day. I had one once and it had a ton of trouble getting up steep hills without pulling the shift to 2nd gear. Meanwhile others have reported a fairly spirited car with this engine. Also, that head gasket could be shot too. A good friend said once " after 73, thats when Buick started doing all types of crazy things with their engines." The recommendation? Find a 70 to 72 Buick 350 engine. Put in the new timing chain and gear while outside the car, and then drop that baby in there. I'm pretty sure thats a bolt in operation. That would make for one nice car. JD
  12. I'm sure it's a lifter. The only other thing might be harmonic balancer but wh9le this noise might go away after a few minutes I think it would come back during use with no real regularity. Since this is on start up, my vote is lifters.
  13. And that makes a lot of sense. I don't think you'd find anything like that today. Todays executives would probably fire anyone who tried to do someting to improve morale. Either that or shift the entire work process to some off-shore company and then complain when the economy back home is grinding to a screeching halt. Sorry, I get so upset with the way some things are today. I think it would be great to have some of these older traditional things available again. I live rather close to the Schenectady County airport. This is a small private airport with quite a bit of history and current activity. As I understand it , it was the first airport in the Upstate NY area and Charles Lindberg landed here in one of his earliest country barnstorming trips. Anyway, for the last 3 summers the County has thrown a hangar dance. They hire one of the several big bands still plying their trade here and they have a open door dance in one of the hangars in July. What nostalgia! Gotta love it. July here is perfect at night. JD
  14. Whats the top speed on your 38 then? 90 MPH, isn't it? Still 25 MPH faster than 99% of the USA roads I suppose. But did you see the post in the "general" forum about the 48 Super with an aftermarket Turbo-charger? I bet that puts a strain on the ole clutch and rear. Still I wonder if the Turbo Charger gives you more top end or just quicker top end??? JD
  15. Is the engine running smoothly while you hear the tapping? If so I think it is just a lifter. Antifreeze may have gotten into them when you had the leak. I agree it is not a bearing, otherwise the noise would not go away. You many have to change the oil again, and several more times too. If there was antifreeze in the oil pump and in the lines and lifters when you first changed the manifold gaskets and the oil, then it just got pumped right back into the crankcase when the engine was started, and contaminated the oil again. JD
  16. Man, that is so neat!. Judging by the background, it looks like a factory sponsored Holiday party. Correct? That floor looks like it's been clear coated! What songs did the band play? That was one thing that was so impressive with the Centenial meet, all the music venues, especially the steel band that played down by the 56/57's. those students were absolutely fantastic!!!! JD
  17. Hear ye, Hear Ye, I totally agree. JD
  18. Now you have me wondering about my 56. I'll be into that this weekend. Is your valve ( inside) open or closed? If it is open I would not try to free it up. Leave it alone. I've heard it said here that the heat riser only comes into play in colder driving weather. Some people remove the guts to open them and leave them open full time. Unless of course, you plan to drive it this winter...
  19. Just a thought, I would like to thank Bob Snowden for doing what he could for the Bugle. As a newsletter editor for my Chapter I can empathize with Bob, for it is tough to come up with an error free publication on a quarterly basis, let alone on a monthly basis. Rosters are that much harder. I left my wife off two of ours and boy did she ever let me know about it. I can't even imagine the prospects of coordinating 9 thousands names in three searchable formats. To Bob, I say THANKS for all you've done. And I mean that!!! To Pete, I say welcome aboard and good luck. JD
  20. Don't stop there. Obviously you have a new "old" toy. Lets see what you are working with. We love all Buicks. JD
  21. That's cool. I used to play the trumpet in my school days. I'm sorry I ever gave it up. Which one are you in that picture Norb? JD
  22. The heat riser valve either rotates or it doesn't. You might not see the spring move because only the center of it will show any movement when the valve is opened and closed. While the engine is cold, you should be able to freely move that valve a 1/4 turn by hand. If you can't, you should spray some PB blaster on boths sides where the rod goes through the manifold then gently tap the valve handle ( that piece you saw on the other side of the manifold from the spring.) If you are going to test the guage the best way is to put on a temporary manual guage. Look at your heads to see which end of the motor the original temp guage is hooked to. On my 56 it is hooked to the drivers side head, towards the back of the engine ( side by the firewall, not the side by the fan) Once you find the hook up point look at the other head directly opposite that connection. You may see what appears to be a slotted screw in the other head in the same location. That would be the best place to hook up your temporary guage. And that way you can compare both guages at the same time to actually see what the numbers are for the corresponding position on your factory guage. Meanwhile, I would not try to disconnect the factory guage at the engine. The part inside the head has a tendency to get stuck in the hole and then the slim tube breaks off when trying to unscrew the fittings. Then you will need the guage and tube professionally repaired or the entire guage replaced. That tube is an integral part of the guage. As to that slotted screw, this is no place to use incorrect tools. I know Sears has a socket for 1/2 in drive that forms a slotted head. This socket has a thick slotted design that fits that screw tightly. The tighter this fit , and the more leverage, the better your chances of getting that port open with no damage. I am sure other tool makers have such tools too. As a matter of fact I have a snap-on catalog right here. I see the perfect tool on page 125. It's called the "Flat tip" Socket and comes in three sizes: 7/16 x.050" part # SW28E 1/2 x .075" SW32E 5/8 x .093" SW40E These would be much preferred over an ordinary screwdriver because you can put it in on a square angle approach, hold it straight and have maximum leverage to get that old screw out of there. Good Luck JD
  23. With zero electricity to everything, lets work this through. If I recall, the positive battery cable goes directly to the solenoid on the starter. I would think the positive cable has arc'd at the solenoid and either insulated itself with a layer or corrosion or broke the internal winding in the solenoid that allows the power to go to the other circuits. I would replace the solenoid at this point. And clean the end of the positive cable or replace the positive cable. Also I would look at the path the positive cable is run. I know my 69's have a channel that is attached to the bottom of the engine block with two bolts. The cable runs through this channel to keep it away from the hot exhaust manifolds. If your positive cable has ever been replaced I bet it was not run in this channel because it is a huge PIA to get off and on the engine. And if so I suspect your positive cable may be burnt through where it fell against the exhaust manifold. This would also cause a major short and drain your battery quickly. JD
  24. I don't think you can see the welds from the topside. You'll have to clear out things underneath. I'm sure the dash will be welded across at several points. JD