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Everything posted by jeff

  1. I agree with the 6.3 volts for a fully charged battery, engine off. (theoretical 2.1 volts per cell, I believe) But, remember, this does not indicate state of charge, which is more of a capacity thing. Make sure the battery is fully charged before analyzing the voltage that the regulator is providing. It could be that the battery is "sinking" a lot of current due to low charge, and 6.5V is the best your generator can provide at that current level. Later, with a full charge, you may see a bit more voltage. I also agree that with everything set correctly, you should have something around 6.8V to 7.2V (I think this is defined in the shop manual). This is adjustable by tweaking the attachment point of the regulator spring... but it's a pretty delicate operation. Jeff
  2. Thanks for the feedback! Ben, a 1" heater hose probably has a 1/2 or 5/8 ID. Agree? If so, that lines up pretty closely with the equivalent orifice diameter of the closed bypass valve, which is 1/2 inch. (it has an annular clearance when closed, the shop manual says it's equal to 1/2" diameter orifice.) So, when your thermostat is closed, the pump is circulating water through the head with this 1/2" restriction at it's inlet. That will be the same as what I rig up. Dynaflash - I totally agree with your comments on crud in the block. I have flushed mine twice over the years, but I am sure there is still junk in there - maybe crusted to the point where flow is restricted. My symptom is this... Good temperature control on the hottest days (93 F recently) while moving at 50 to 55 mph. (Special, with a 3.9 rear, radiator rodded out, 160 thermostat) Temperature will read about 190 under these conditions. A bit less on a more moderate day. When I come to a town and sit at a few traffic lights, the temperature will creep up - pretty close to max. Stopping for gas on the recent 93 degree day caused some coolant loss as it briefly boiled. The related issue is fuel percolation when the underhood temperature creeps up like this. I recently re-routed the fuel line to help this issue. I would love to go back in time and see how well these cars performed under these conditions. My best reference is a friend's '39 Packard and another friend's '37 Dodge - both are more capable under these kinds of conditions. Great feedback - thanks again! Jeff
  3. As a pre-war Buick owner ('38 Special), I have been advised to restrict the spring loaded thermostat bypass mechanism to limit the flow bypassing the radiator. The claim is that the post-war version of this straight eight engine has a different "fixed" bypass arrangement, and that this later design is more effective. Can anyone confirm the design of the bypass in the later Buick straight eights? Jeff
  4. If I recall correctly, my '38 Special differential cover only went on one way - it has a feature to accommodate the ring gear. Yours might be the same. Jeff
  5. Just my two cents... You should be checking the master cylinder at least twice each driving season! A single circuit brake system with no fluid level sensor as found on modern cars - leads to a very, very bad failure mode. My '38 Special with a re-sleeved, rebuilt master cylinder still weeps just a bit out the back of the master cylinder. Happy to hear that yours do not, but a bit more wear or hardening of the seals and I would guess they may start to weep. Same goes for your wheel cylinders. I would recommend checking frequently. As far as misalignment, my Special is also a pain - maybe not quite as bad as the Century pictured in this thread. I have gotten used to using a cut down wrench, and a very careful pour. Maybe in your case you could rig a syringe with a tube to introduce some fluid in spite of the offset. This approach works from underneath as well. A clean finger can act as a dip stick. In some ways our old cars are woefully inadequate - so we need to keep them as safe as possible! Just my opinion. Take it for whatever its worth. Jeff
  6. Yeah, I tend to agree with you Don. I went with the lip seal version because that is what one of the parts catalogs listed as correct for the '38. That doesn't necessarily mean they are correct of course! It doesn't do much for rain, but it may help to minimize drafts. Maybe.
  7. On your side windows, what did you use for lower seals? I have a '38 Special, same 2-door body style. On mine, I finally concluded that a lip seal was used on the bottom channel of the window. It is a u-shaped rubber piece (that holds the glass into the metal channel) with a lip that is supposed to seal on the edge of the door. At least I think that is what was used originally. After installation, I can only say that its ability to seal against the door is weak at best. Plus, since it is below the edge of the door, any rain comes in regardless. (that's what the drain holes are for!) Any wisdom on this? And, when (and where) do we get to see this beautiful car? Great job! Jeff
  8. Sure can - I put 1950 rods in mine. Turned the crank journals down by 010 at a machine shop, and bought 010 under bearing inserts. Be careful to cross-check compatibility using Hollander's interchange manual. I think, post-war up to about '52 will work, but don't take my word for it. I also used 1950 style pistons, .030 over, from Egge. (along with the appropriate rings). You always have to check the 0.010 end gap clearance, and file to fit. I do have some left-over babbitted rods - if you are interested. The old technique was to remove shims to get the appropriate clearance as the Babbitt wore down. You can pretty much see by inspection how much is left, and if they are useable. Of course, even if it looks good, it is still old. Jeff
  9. I did mine substantially cheaper - but I did most of the re-build myself. Farmed out the 030 over rebore, 010 under crank machining, and new guides and seats in the head, plus head assembly. I sourced my own parts, ran back and forth to the machine shop, etc. Enjoyed the process. Its been a few years, maybe $3000? Ok, round it up to $4000, as I have probably forgotten about the overruns. Sorry I can't be more accurate, Jeff
  10. I guess my Dad would qualify. One of my first car memories, at around age 4 or 5, was his NSU Prinz - maybe a '62. It was a two cylinder rear engine car that looked a bit like a 2/3 scale, first generation Corvair. That would have been pretty unusual in the mid-Sixties. Hats off to my Dad! Jeff
  11. If I were re-conditioning one of the original types, I would try to see if there is a way to replace that cork washer. I don't see any way to get this dampening function from the aftermarket type.
  12. Dave, is your gauge original? Or, aftermarket? Also, if your tank is a '38, it would have a rigid filler on the driver's side. Wasn't the '37 filler different? My aftermarket sending unit reads reasonably accurately, but bounces like crazy as the gas sloshes around. It looks like the original has a little washer that dampens the device, while the aftermarket has no such feature. Is this a common experience out there? Any fixes for this? Jeff
  13. With the switch all the way out (fourth position), the driver's side should be on high beam, even with the dimmer switch in the low beam position. The only light that switches in that mode is the passenger side. In the third position, both lights will switch. Also, the parking lights will go out when high beam is selected, and will be on when low beam is selected.
  14. Be sure your timing is not advanced too far. Use the biggest cable you can find. Also, how is the battery grounded - to the engine or chassis? Might want to have a redundant path there as well. (the paint thing again!) Good luck, Jeff
  15. Great restoration thread! I am just catching up after West pointed it out to me. No, I do not quite have 14,000 hubcaps - but after some years of buying anything that might be a slight upgrade, I do have about 12 or so to choose from. Some are pretty nice and shiny, but most all have some defect - scratches and dings. Certainly will work and look good from 10 feet. Ten pictured below, four more I set aside for my own use, and four on the car - 18 total, pretty close to 14,000. Where are you located? Hubcaps are living a nice quiet retirement in my garage in Dayton OH. Priced more than reasonably. Send me a PM if interested. Jeff
  16. Input shaft (integral to clutch gear) is different, different arrangement to return oil as mentioned above. Different size spline means you would need the clutch disc to match. Pilot bearing surface doesn't engage the pilot bearing as deeply. Housing - oil return is in the same general place, but is a different size and shape than the feature it aligns with - caused significant oil leak on mine as the mis-match tends to dam up the returning oil. Internally, synchronizers were changed, this is no big deal but you cannot have half one style and half the other. Some slight differences in the shifter mechanism details, but they interchange. My '38 had a '37 gearbox for years - don't know why. I had a '38 spare, so I finally rebuilt the '38 with the best parts from both. I ran into issues with all of the above. Get a '38 if at all possible.
  17. I am looking for an exhaust manifold and valve body for a 1938 248 cu. in. engine. Jeff
  18. I pushed the axle back and dropped the transmission first - would never pull the engine off of the transmission. Anyway, you will have to push the axle back to get the driveshaft spline out of the transmission. This approach was recommended by a 30's - 50's Buick mechanic, although I really can't say if his advice was because of my garage equipment limitations or if it was the way it was done. Doesn't matter, this old friend's advice was good enough for me! Oh yeah, I pulled the cylinder head off prior to lifting the engine. Bolted the hoist chain links directly to the block. More than one way to skin a cat - just be safe.
  19. I have done it both ways. Easier with the clip off, of course. Both times I removed the gear box first. But, my real two cents is this - if you mount the engine to a hobbiest engine stand, it is a bit too long to be stable. In other words, it will try to tip the stand forward - and I am only talking about my experience with a borrowed stand and the 248 engine. For safety, I left the engine hoist connected to the front of the block, in case of tipping. I seem to recall it wanting to tip in one orientation, but not the other. (i.e. bottom up, vs. top up).
  20. '38 Special can definitely be rodded out. I did that 2 years ago on mine. If I recall, rodding cost me $500 - $600, while the new core options were more like $1000 - $1200. Jeff
  21. Does this make sense to anyone? My first job was at an AMC dealership in the 1970's. It was a family owned, small town operation. In fact, the family did have the Hudson franchise at the same location prior to AMC. (Also, Sunoco pumps out front!) I prepped new cars, when they occasionally sold one or moved one to the show room. With great effort, I would remove the paste wax that had been applied when the car came in. The wax (about one can per car) was allowed to bake in the hot sun, presumably as a protective layer. Was this commonly done? At the time, I thought this was normal, but now I think that, at best, it was an old practice that the boss didn't want to let go of. (For anyone in the New Jersey area, it was Raritan Valley Garage, on route 202, just before the Somerville Circle.) Jeff
  22. Yep - pretty sure you are ok. Mine came with an AAV-167. The 7 stands for something. Either the starter switch or the type of choke. Something like that... http://www.buicks.net/shop/reference/carburetor_numbers.shtml
  23. Don't be discouraged! To me, it sounds like you have made great progress on many fronts. Let us know where you are located, perhaps there is someone in your area. I agree with the comments on ignition advance. Sounds like that is worth a look. Your fuel delivery issues (tank, lines, sediment, pump replacement...) all sound good - one thing I didn't see mentioned was the float. Two issues could have been at play - sediment keeping the float needle valve from closing, or a leaking (sinking) float. Both would give you a rich condition, with the car spitting and coughing. These might have been corrected when your carb was rebuilt. I didn't see where you mentioned which carb is on the car now - of course, if someone put an inappropriate carb on there, that could be an issue. If you replace your carb, you may want to consider a Stromberg AAV-167. It was the recommended replacement for the AAV1, and I believe it is what the dealer would have installed on your car if it came back in in the early '40's. Gives you a better choke arrangement. Keep the discussion going - we'll get you through this. Jeff
  24. You're welcome. I puzzled over this for a long time until I realized that by "passing beam" they mean the mode for passing by the on-coming car - the guy coming from the other direction! Not for passing (overtaking) someone going the same direction. It all makes sense when you realize that the driver's side beam is illuminating the right side of the road. The beam on the passenger side gets dimmed for the sake of the on-coming car.
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