1953mack

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1953mack last won the day on January 24 2016

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  1. I would suggest reading the 1952 Buick Shop Manual that lists eight items to check out that might contribute to your cooling problem. Replacing the Super radiator with a Roadmaster radiator isn't one of the eight items. When's the last time you checked to see if the exhaust manifold valve isn't stuck? Al Malachowski BCA #8965 "500 Miles West of Flint"
  2. The boot looks like one for a 1948-1952 Buick in the catalogs. The last digit written on the box with a black marker looks like the top-half of a "3" was ripped-off and you might have been ripped-off too. Besides that, Group 5.565, Part #1346201 is correct for a 1953-1954 Torque Ball Boot according to my 1928-1954 BUICK MASTER PARTS BOOK. That part number might be good for additional years beyond 1954 . . . I don't know. Al Malachowski BCA #8965 "500 Miles West of Flint"
  3. There wasn't a 1950 Le Sabre concept car and Buick didn't build it in 1951. Al Malachowski BCA 8965 "500 Miles West of Flint"
  4. Here’s how I would summarize my understanding . . . When the teeth of the pitman shaft sectors, steering gear worm’s ball nut and power rack are in correct alignment at the central high point of the pitman shaft, the steering shaft will be centered and in correct alignment to install the steering wheel correctly that will enable you to rotate the steering wheel 2 3/4 turns in either direction. The pitman shaft will also be in the correct position to install the pitman arm correctly (parallel to the steering column) that will result in the front wheels pointing straight-ahead for necessary front-wheel caster, camber, and toe-in alignment. Your toe-in alignment being off by ± 1” or unequal threads showing at the tie-rod sleeves should not hinder the full 5 1/2 turns of the steering wheel. In the 1953 Buick Shop Manual, page 162, paragraph 16 addresses the correct way to center the pitman shaft on the steering gear worm’s ball nut before you install the power rack correctly as addressed on page 163, paragraph 23. Another item that might be worth mentioning: before you start disassembling the gear box, check to see if you have the noticeable lash that should be on a correctly-installed gear box. In addition to the 2 3/4 turns of the steering wheel in either direction, you should be able to turn it another 1/8 turn (45°) when the front wheels are at extreme right or left. Make note of the feel and how the steering wheel kind of springs-back the 1/8-turn. You might only have lash on one end now, due to your off-centered setup. The Shop Manual does a good job on explaining how to achieve the proper lash. Good luck. Al Malachowski BCA #8965 “500 Miles West of Flint” FYI. The steering assembly tips the scale at ± 70 pounds. Uff Da!
  5. JR, Just a few comments on your latest post. Thanks for verifying the position of your pitman arm when your tires were pointed straight ahead. That only tells us that your rebuilder reinstalled the pitman shaft like you marked it and it's the only way that it can be installed. That still leaves us with the question of what is preventing you from turning the steering wheel another 360° for a total of 5 1/2 turns in lieu of 4 1/2. Based on your information of 4 1/2 turns and only being able to turn the wheels half-way to the extreme right, I ran the numbers to see if my reasoning made any sense when I said that either or both the power rack or the ball nut were incorrectly installed by one tooth in relation to the pitman shaft’s sectors. — It doesn’t make any difference what you are using to turn the steering shaft when calculating one full revolution . . . vise grips or the 18”-diameter steering wheel . . . 360° is 360°. — The rotation of the pitman shaft (and the pitman arm) is slightly over 1/4 of a turn (not 3/4 of a turn), It’s closer to 93° to be more exact with the advertised 1953 Buick power steering ratio of 21.3:1 (5 1/2 turns of the steering wheel @ 360° = 1980° divided by 21.3 = 92.95°). — You’re saying that one tooth looks like it would make it very wrong. Calculations say that you only need an additional 17° of pitman shaft/pitman arm swing (92.95° total swing divided by 5 1/2 turns of the steering wheel = 16.9° for every turn of the steering wheel). Since the pitman shaft sector teeth are ± 30° on-center, 17° is close enough to calling it one-half of a tooth distance. — With a 92.95° swing of the pitman shaft and pitman arm, that tells you that the front wheels should rotate 46.5° in each direction from the straight-ahead position. You are saying that you can only turn your front wheels half-way (46.5° divided by 2 = 23.25°) to the extreme right. That difference of 23.25° is close to the 17° you are short with the one-less turn of the steering wheel and without accounting for the Ackermann Principle. You still have concerns about whether the toe-in is affecting the off-center steering problem. You might want to consider loosening the four clamp bolts on the two tie-rod sleeves, turn the sleeves to get close to the front-track dimension of 60” and check out what that accomplishes; beats an extra trip to the alignment shop. I also question whether your rebuilder bench-tested his work after he buttoned everything up and sent it off to you. I would think that he should remember doing a bench test and counting 2 3/4 turns each way from center. Just my opinion. Hopefully, you and him can determine what’s causing the problem soon. Thanks. Al Malachowski BCA #8965 “500 Miles West of Flint”
  6. I spent some time under my parts car to confirm that any misalignment issues can't contribute to your off-center steering problem. I'll leave it at that. — The one and only correct way for the steering gear box to work is if the pitman arm is in the position shown in the first picture (parallel with the steering column) when your tires are pointed straight ahead and when you can turn the steering wheel 5 1/2 turns from extreme right to extreme left . . . all as described in the Buick Shop Manuals. You mention that you can only turn the steering wheel 4 1/2 turns but you don't say how the pitman arm lines up relative to when the tires are pointing straight ahead. — The Shop Manuals also describe the correct position of the ball nut and power rack in relation to the sectors on the pitman shaft. Can your rebuilder confirm that these two items were installed correctly? IMHO, either one or both are incorrectly positioned. (Off-center by one tooth?) I would be interested in knowing what your rebuilder has to say. Thanks. Al Malachowski BCA #8965 "500 Miles West of Flint"
  7. Here are a few pics to check out . . . — The two pitman arms that I show have the same casting number 5665070 as yours, EXCEPT you say yours is a GMB2 and mine say GMB1 and GMB3. These are specific to 1953 Buick 50-70 Series only. — Both pitman arms measure 7" from centerline of ball to centerline of where the pitman shaft comes through the 1" splined/tapered hole. Look familiar? Does your pitman ball look original? I've heard where they could be installed opposite of what they should be when they're sent out to replace the ball. — The end of the short intermediate tie rod is threaded and has a 20° bend . . . technically, no such thing as a left-inner tie rod end. I will crawl under my parts car to scope out a few issues that I don't agree with and will give you an update later. Al Malachowski BCA #8965 "500 Miles West of Flint"
  8. FYIIYDAK: They are handed and often you see them installed with the bird flying backwards. Al Malachowski BCA #8965 "500 Miles West of Flint"
  9. As noted In a 1928-1954 BUICK MASTER CHASSIS PARTS BOOK under Accessories . . . Group 9.777, Part 981552, all models. No specific years are mentioned although most accessories on that page are for 1954 Buicks. I would guess this was a universal part listed for a lot of other years too. Al Malachowski BCA #8965 "500 Miles West of Flint"
  10. You said that you "centered the box." The Buick Shop Manual says that it takes 5 1/2 turns of the steering wheel to travel the full range from extreme right to extreme left. How close to 2 3/4 turns each were your numbers . . . from center (when wheels were pointed straight ahead) to extreme right . . . and from center to extreme left? It sounds like you don't have an equal-equal setup. Thanks. Al Malachowski BCA #8965 "500 Miles West of Flint"
  11. Thanks for the picture. It confirms what I've been saying for years that the color of the OEM factory under-the-hood insulation was YELLOW at one time and not GRAY on these early Buicks. Al Malachowski BCA #8965 "500 Miles West of Flint"
  12. Here's a cheaper alternative if you're looking for style points. Rather than spending $8.00 a pop, consider these push-on bolt covers for < $1.00 each that we used back in the 1950s for that Joe Cool street-racer look with painted red wheels and no wheel covers. The guys running Ford/Merc flathead engines found these popular for their manifold nuts too . . . available from J.C. Whitney and Roy Warshawsky Enterprises back then. https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Flathead-Ford-V8-Intake-Manifold-Chrome-Acorn-Nut-Covers-9-16-Nuts,1585.html Kind of a hassle but worth the look. I found out that you needed to torque the lug bolts before you push these covers on and remove these covers before you remove the lug bolts. A dab of grease inside the cover helped. Al Malachowski BCA #8965 "500 Miles West of Flint"
  13. If you don't want your wheels to fall off your brake drums while you're driving down the road, buy the correct 9/16-18 lug bolts. The chrome-plated ones were OEM on Buicks with the chrome-plated 1953-1954 Buick Skylark wire wheels and are advertised on Page 65 in CARS' catalog . . . http://www.oldbuickparts.com/pdf/cat360/36005.pdf Al Malachowski BCA #8965 "500 Miles West of Flint"
  14. The dimension from the centerline of the rear left wheel to the centerline of the rear right wheel = the rear track. The 1955 Super/Roadmaster rear track is listed at 62.2". Since the OEM wheels didn't have an offset, you could also say that the rear track = the dimension from face of left brake drum to face of right brake drum. Compare 62.2" with what the 9" rear (that you're thinking of using) measures from face of brake drum to face of brake drum . . . or if the 9" rear has wheels & tires on them, measure from the centerline of one tire to the centerline of the other provided that you plan on using those same wheels that are on the 9". I say that because the wheels might have offsets whereas the OEM Buick wheels do not. If you had the correct reference manual, the rear track dimension should be listed for the 9" rear. Al Malachowski BCA #8965 "500 Miles West of Flint" Edit: To get the overall width for fender clearance comparisons, you would have to add the width of one tire to each of the rear track dimension.
  15. – The hydraulic brake line (with the spring guard) in your first picture for the left side-rear looks factory original to me with the clip holding the line to the back of the strut hanger-support. – The hydraulic line (upper in second photo; lower line is the service/parking brake) for the right side-rear that is clipped to the inner-right strut also looks original up to the strut-hanger support. Beyond that, and not visible in your photo, does it continue on thru the two holes in the strut hanger-support? If so, it is similar to a 1953 and I would say it is also factory original. 1951-1953 Buick 50-70 Series (could be additional years) are almost identical. – As far as the longer length you mentioned, there were five different wheelbase dimensions in 1951 . . . 121 1/2" up through 130 1/4". You might have a universal "one-size-fits-none" line. Al Malachowski BCA #8965 "500 Miles West of Flint"