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Everything posted by JohnD1956

  1. I also had my tank redone by a gas tank renu dealer in Albany. He's the same guy who built my radiator. This process is marvelous. My tank had a big dent, and they were able to press it out and save my tank. It comes in two finishes, silver ( looks like a new tank) or a black corrugated which looks like undercoating. I took the black undercoating to match my car. They actually cut off a part of the tank on the topside. Then the tank is cleaned, and I believe blasted. They spot welded the filler neck in place before de-soldering the seam. The seam is replaced with this coating. Then they welded the top back on, coated the tank inside and out, and bake on the finish, like a powder coating I guess. The result was perfect. They really did an excellent job! And I can fill it right up the filler neck with no problems. Here's one thing though. I had installed a new sender unit several years earlier. When I started getting leaks, I figured the tank had a fatigue crack at the dent. After the tank was done, it leaked again. When we shook the tank with gas in it, it turned out to be the rivits holding the sending unit together that actually leaked. This guy had a special epoxy which he put over the rivits. Sealed the whole thing up nicely. I suggest epoxying those rivits fron the get-go. You can't see it on top of the tank and it sure beats dropping the thing another time. John D
  2. I had a local shop make me a three core radiator using my original tanks, but the car still ran hot going to Flint last year. When got home I had to drain the system for another problem and I noticed there was debris in the top tank clogging some of the tubes. I had the radiator taken apart and rodded, then I bought a filter from TEBKA enterprises. This filter goes in the top radiator hose ( i did have to cut it, but it's several years old already) and I left the heater disconnected so all coolant has to pass the filter. I couldn't believe the crap that filter caught in just an hours worth of idling. I plan to pop my soft plugs and rinse out the water jacket sometime this summer. Then hook up the heater again.
  3. If the car has the trunk lid luggage rack, check the seals on the bolts holding it on. If the car has a sunroof, check the drain pipe inside the car coming down at the C pillars. My Brother bought a nice 91 Ultra with this problem, and found that there was an angled connector at the point nearest the roof line that had come apart. He slipped it back together and didn't have any more problems for several years. If it was me, I'd put some adhesive on it as well. JohnD1956
  4. Check the rubber piece of fuel line that attaches the fuel supply line to the fuel pump. Down below the pump on the passenger side. Is this deteriorated? Also how are the rest of your fuel lines? Is it all still steel to the tank pickup? If not, I'd check for more deteriorated rubber lines. Did you keep the original fuel filter? Is this deteriorated and sending debris into the carb? I had a terrible problem with my 56 Harmonic balancer this year. The car did run, but it was tough to keep going at an idle. It ran rough all the time.It seems many of the Nail head engined Rivera owners on the ROA maillist had a similar situation as well this past year. I'd check it out. Disconnect your generator belt and your power steering belt, then grab ahold of the outside of your balancer and see if it twists on it's center shaft. If so, you have the same situation. Mine was ruined. My crank was 3/1000th out of round from the damage as well. Got a replacement from Ken Reeves, and had Damper Doc in California rebuild it. Even though the car already has steel gears, I put in a new set of timing gears and chain while in there. Runs great now!
  5. do any of these trade under different business names?
  6. JohnD1956

    Dead Wildcat

    I knwo this is going to sound stupid, but what the heck. did you pull the dipstick and check to see if it really lost the oil? That funny sound, may have been a bad bearing on a water pump, where upon the coolant will pour out, but the only way for the oil to pour out is with major engine damage. Check the dip stick. A water pump may only cost around $100.00 to have installed.
  7. That dealer is just taking you for a ride! Period! Here's what you might want to do. You will never recoup your investment unless the car is running. So , spend the $380 on the timing chain, PROVIDED the price includes the timing chain, and BOTH gears. Make sure the job will include all three parts. If you want to save additional money on labor, have him throw on a new water pump at the same time. This is another traditionally weak part, and a lot of the labor required for the timing chain is also required for the water pump. Then make friends with someone who is, or knows a classic car mechanic. Ask at work if someone has an interest in old cars and see if you can get their mechanic. If no luck, take the car to the busiest local non- chain auto parts store. Ask the counter man in the store for new wheel cylinders and a new Master cylinder. THEN ask for the name of a reliable local mechanic. You may not find the cheapest mechanic, but you will probably find a competent one. I say new wheel cylinders, because chances are your low pedal is caused by a leak there, where you really can't see it. The brake dust inside the brake drums is sopping up the leakage since it is slow, and the brake fluid evaporates. This happened to me once on my 56 Buick. It took me several months to finally pull all the brake drums where upon the problem was readily evident. You may not need the master cylinder, so have the mechanic install the wheel cylinders first and maybe you can return the unused master cylinder. But if not, you will save the mechanics time, and thereby your money by having the parts on hand. Do not buy rotors ( drums) unless the mechanic says yours cannot be "turned" or salvaged. One thing more. Even though you have the parts, offer to pay the mechanic's markup on the parts. This may cost you a small premium, however everytime I did this, the mechanic didn't charge me the markup. I figure by doing this, they realize that I know a bit more than average about their business, and I think I get better quality work. Of course, when I find a good mechanic I try to stick with them. Untill they estimate an exorbitant price for a job I know costs less. Really, get the timing chain done. I have done many, so it's really no big deal but it is always a pain in the butt, and you do need a fair assortment of tools. Then attack the brakes with a good mechanic. Good luck
  8. For whom it may concern, I always felt that these cars just semed to lack something. I could never put my finger on what it was. Then this summer, at the Centenial meet, there was a sweet blue one, which I think had the 14" factory road wheels. And that was it. Those wheels seemd to push the tires out towards the fender more, giving the car a real muscular stance. It really seemd to be the missing link. John d
  9. Lets see! 89K? Probably sat for several years awaiting a buyer. Runs for a little while then one day starts and drops dead...I bet it's the timing chain. I've had multiple Buicks. Once GM started with the nylon coated gears, and until GM started putting tensioners on the timing chain (in the 88-92 range I believe) every single Buick I owned need a timing chain and gears at this point. I would guess at a $400.00 estimate, which is kind of a shame since the parts are most likely well under $50.00. The good news is that if you have new timing gears installed at the same time , they should be the metal ones, and this will most likely outlast you and several generations of grandkids. Go for it, because it's probably worth it, and you'll need these sooner than later I fear. John d
  10. Here are a few things to check, to try and find that rattle from under the car. Look underneath the front of the car. Lay right down on the ground in front, and look towards the rear bumper. About 12 inches from the front, is a thick metal bar which runs perpendicular to the length of the car. This bar may go through a bracket on each side of the car, right where the frame of the car is. There should be rubber bushings in the brackets which the bar runs through. Sometimes these bushings dry out and fall out, leaving the bar to bang against the frame every time the car goes over a bump. Also, this bar is connected to the lower suspension by a "link". There should be a link on each end of the bar, connected to the lower A frame of the suspension on each side. Make sure these are in place and push the bar around to see if this is the cause of your rattle. If this is not the problem, lay down on the ground on the drivers side of the car. Looking underneath towards the passenger side there should be the parking brake cable. Usually these are held very taught even when the parking brake is not set. There may be three separate cables to this system, and if one is broken, then there could be some rattling from one or more of the parts. Also, these cables are usually held up close to the floor pans of the car by heavy duty c style hooks. There is usually one on each side of the car generally attached to the heavy piece of frame that goes across the car under the back of the transmission. If either is missing, more opportunities for rattles. If neither of these check out, take the car back to YOUR mechanic and ask about the universal joints on the drive shaft. By the way, be sure to put some blocks in front of and behind at least one tire before laying under or in front of the car. Make certain that the car cannot roll, or be started while you're down there. You need the parking brake off to check those cables. Let us know if you find any of these to be the problem.
  11. Unless the gas pedal sticks on your 69 GS 400 Convertible, with standard drum brakes no less.
  12. I would like to add my story and agreement with the others. Buy Buy Buy. I always wanted a 69 GS 400 Convertible since college in 1970. Never thought I could have such a toy however. The price of these things just keeps going and going and going, worse than the eveready bunny. Then 10 years ago my sister calls me and says you have to see my neighbors Buick Convertible. She didn't know anything else about it but it's old and red. So I made a trip and there it was, a Red 69 GS 400 Convertible. Joe had just bought it with his friend from Connecticut. They were partners and no they were not interested in selling. 10 years later, the only thing I remembered about the car was it was red, and the dumb ass Jaguar hood ornament that was mounted in the hood right between the two ram air scoops. Then last summer, I was speaking to my sister and asked if Joe still had the car. She didn't know and couldn't remember the last time she had seen it. But she agreed to ask and later that month, she tells me that the car is in Conn, and Joe hadn't seen the car himself in six years. He wanted to get out of the partnership with his friend since he really didn't have much to do with the car anyway. A short conversation with Joe points me to his partner George. Armed with Georges E mail address, I asked if he still had the car and wanted to sell. 45 days go by. At this point, my wife was pretty much against the purchase, and I couldn't even remember if the car was a Skylark or a GS anymore, so I figured it wasn't for sale and talked myself out of following up. Then I get an e mail from George. I wasn't even going to open it. Except, it was labled GS 400. So I did, and lo and behold, George was interested in selling. He wanted to know if I wanted to come and see the car, about a 3 hour trip from where I live. His price was VERY reasonable for such a car. My wife made it obvious that it was not going to be easy, convincing her that the car was a good purchase, So I figured, Forget about it. But it was gnawing at me. So on an unrelated trip, I called George and made arrangements to see the car. One look and I was hooked. A 27,000 mile original car. Bought new in the Bronx, NY, by Georges Uncle, the car never left the northeast. Uncle #1 used to pull the car in and when he hit the concrete abutment in the front of the garage, he knew it was in far enough to get the door closed. Needless to say, the bumper was slightly squished. The only options were power steering, and Air Conditioning along with the tinted glass. Uncle was a bit ecentric, thus the Jag hood ornament, and a police spotlight drilled right through the windshield frame, both of which George had removed a long time ago, but the holes were never patched. Then Uncle#1 passes and Uncle # 2 takes it over. He manages to get some sort of dent or scratch in just about every corner of the car, and he only things replaced on the car was the battery, the tires, the starter and one set of single exhaust. Just before going into a nursing home, he calls George and offers it to him and Joe. They have had the car for 13 years or so and never did anything to it. I called my wife on the way home so she would hopefully get over it before I got there. And she was downright mad. After all, I already had three toys. By the time I got there she had cooled off, and then starts telling me to make a counter offer. But I said no, I really didn't think I could afford it, and I didn't want it if it was going to make her pissed off all the time. For her part she just kept saying you know you want that car. Go ahead and buy it! So another 30 days goes by and I'm at my sisters house for a gathering when in walks Joe. I apologized to him for leading him on but told him if he would sell the car for 2/3rds of their asking price, I'd put up with my wifes complaints. Another 30 days goes by and I figuring it's a dead issue when I get an e mail from George to come and pick the car up. And now I don't even know how I lived all last summer without it. Let me see if I can add a picture. I replaced the tires, plugs, and wires, along with the rest of the original ignition parts, and put on new dual exhaust, and tried like crazy to shine up the paint. Otherwise this picture is pretty much how I got it.
  13. How badly pited is this grill? And do you also have the top grill bar?
  14. If you know the seal is correctly installed, check the bearing. I only did this once in a 65 nailhead engine, so I could be wrong, but I would not think any binding is acceptable. Plus that seal has nothing to bind against. It just sits in place in it's groove, so maybe the bearing is in upside down?
  15. "One outcome of this strategy will allow Buick to lower its age demographics. However, Fraleigh admits the most critical buying segment in the auto industry is the older customer, noting the average age of car buyers is 49. Buick's opportunity is to retain (older) loyal buyers and bring in younger customers, he says. "That's what we're trying to do. We don't want to exclude older buyers." A friend went to a local Buick/ multi GM dealership, where according to him, the Buicks were lackluster. All the LeSabres were "odd colors, no options, and plastic hubcaps like you could buy at NAPA". He asked the salesman if any of the cars had an xm radio at least? and the sales man told him, no way. Our average customer is 61 years old and they don't want to pay for radio service. This is the stupidest thing I've heard and seen from the folks at Buick. Show me a 30 year old buyer who does not want performance and I'll show you a 30 year old buyer who has no brand loyalty and could care less about what they drive. If Buick does not put some effort into performance, you might as well buy a Ford focus! What do you suppose they will put in that Veliete? A smooth 2 cylinder?
  16. Brian, Thanks for the research on this. I'm putting my house up for sale. Who will need it when you can ride around in that!
  17. I suspect you are right about that noise. I failed to get the car out this past weekend, but am going to try for Saturday. If get the noise while rolling and the engine off, then I guess it's rear axle rebuilding time. It may be tough to work on, but I think I'll try to keep it stock. Thanks for your help.
  18. Thanks for the suggestions. It can't be the hubcaps, they are not on the car. How do you check the side gears? Is this something that could be done while in the car? Or only upon pulling the rear axle?
  19. I know my rear seal leaks, but I pulled the plug for the rear axel and the fluid level was right. So I don't think I have leakage into the rear axel. I have a set of economy radials on the factory rims. I bought them at an independent Goodyear dealer. I am in Schenectady NY. I am hoping to try what BJR suggested tomorrow. Since I get the noise at slower speeds, after I try slipping it into neutral, I then plan to try and shut the engine down. That should isolate Engine, transmission and exhaust. If I still get the noise, then I am planning to have the rear axel rebuilt and to have the transmission leak fixed at the same time. Just in time for the world to run out of gas I suspect. And gas is already so expensive, it may just be a good year to have this done, and then I won't have to feel bad about not driving it.
  20. Thanks These sound like good ideas. It's snowing this week here, so I'll have to give these a try in a few weeks.
  21. Nicely done. Bu I just have to ask, What happend to that roof? Looks like they were putting it up or down while moving and hit a bridge or something. John D
  22. Hi all, Looking for some ideas where to search for a noise in my 56. This noise sounds like a tire with a broken tread. A flapping noise if you will, not metallic, but more solid, almost like knocking on a wooden door. I've had this noise for several years. It is more pronounced when you let off the gas to slow down. However, under power, if you pass a guard rail or something else to shorten the echo range, I can hear the noise. Here's what I checked and replaced. Water pump and fuel pump replaced. Tires checked, and all brake linings inspected. Front wheel bearings replaced, Rims replaced, tail pipes replaced and all pipes rehung to ensure no frame contact. The Generator has been rebuilt also, but the power steering pump is still original. Also, the outer rear axle bearings were replaced a decade or longer ago, but I have not put many miles on them, Probably less than 10 K since I've owned it in 1974.I did have my shop put it on a lift and listen to the rear axle while the car was running in drive. We never heard the same noise, but they told me the rear was a bit noisy and probably could use a rebuild. Last summer, I was going to isolate the power steering pump, even though the noise definitely sounds like it is coming from the left rear side. In doing so, I found my harmonic balancer was broken. It could rotate it back and forth to the tune of an inch or so. I got a replacement, had it rebuilt by Damper doc, and then put on a new timing chain and gear since I had it open. I finally got it out last weekend, and thought I'd be clear sailing figuring that balancer was the problem but not so. Same noise under the same conditions? It almost sounds like a baffle in the muffler had collapsed, and this may be possible still. The mufflers are over ten years old, but with such little use, they are still solid on the outside with practically no visible rust, so I did not replace them when I had the tail pipes done. Before I sink another useless dime in this car, I was hoping someone else may have had a similar problem and can share their experience.
  23. I would just buy that Riviera. Then I'd sell the van, but I would still use the Lesabre as a daily driver. I say that with the benefit of experience. I've had my 56 Super since 1974, My 69 electra since 1993, my 95 Riv since 1998. My wife has her 93 Regal since 1993. In 02, I bought a Ranger pickup so I had something to wreck with winter driving, and this summer I just picked up a 69 GS 400 convertible with 27K original miles. Whoever said you can't have it all needs to take a course in logic.
  24. I use JohnD1956 here, so delete the Johnny D on your forum please. I guess I'm not so computer savy, and didn't understand the password was coming in the e mail referenced. Still, a nice looking bulletin board and site.
  25. Hi Budd. I am interested in a forum for 56 owners, but registering for that bulletin board caused me some problems. First it told me that the user name was taken, so I tried three others, and finally got one just to get an error message that my e mails address had already been used. I never saw a page or area for entering a password, but it said I already had one. Seems kinda strange operation to me. John D