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About TheDude

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  • Birthday 01/02/1986

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  1. A Falcon wagon! So cool! I just sold a '63 Futura, 2 door. I'm an early Mustang and Falcon fan.
  2. Thanks, I hope to really enjoy it someday, but for a while it won't rack up many miles since I am moving away. I'll go with the bias plys when the time comes. I want to keep this car as original as possible. It's funny that you should mention the smell. It is my favorite smell in the world. I remember it from when I was a kid at my grandmother's house and I'd ask to go to the garage to see the Buick. I'd lift up the sheets that were covering it, open the door and get a huge whiff. Just sitting inside that car as a young kid, I knew it was special. It's a way to connect with my grandfather, even though I never met him. I use the same tools that he used on this car. Here's a shot of the little garage that my grandfather worked in, and where the Buick was kept for almost 35 years.
  3. I still cannot believe it, but last Saturday, our 1953 Buick Super added one mile to the odometer for the first time since 1991. Here's the quick version of the story: My grandfather bought the car in 1970. He owned it and maintained it until he passed away in 1985, a year before I was born. Until 1992, my dad was able to make fairly regular trips down to his mother's house to start the Buick up and drive it around for a mile or two. From 1992 to 2005, it sat untouched (except for my curiosity while visiting my grandmother). In 2005, my parents built a garage and we brought the Buick to our house. I did the necessary maintenance to get the Buick started again, but it did not have functioning brakes. Until recently, I got busy with work and school and had not even started the Buick in a few years. Last month I was determined to get the Buick to the point of being drivable. I rebuilt the master cylinder and wheel cylinders, and decided to resolve the starting issues. It turns out that I somehow had the firing order screwed up, and also had the #1 plug marked 180 degrees out. After that, the Buick fired up beautifully. My friend Bob helped me solve the master cylinder rebuild issue, which was a faulty seal on the new piston (we put the seal from the old piston on the new piston and that fixed the problem). Then we bled the brakes in about 10 minutes. I took the first drive since 1991, which was up and down the driveway a few times to circulate the fluid, and then Bob and I took turns driving it around the culdesac. I took a quick drive around the development for one mile. I had been waiting to drive this car since I was young...and the years since 2005 have just been torture, but now I really feel that I have accomplished something and made my grandfather proud. The next project is to get the Mustang drivable again because I am moving away soon and I don't want to leave inoperable cars in the garage for an undetermined amount of time. Here are a few pictures. Sorry about the lighting, it was right in the middle of the day and there wasn't anything I could do about the sun, especially with it shining off of that chrome and stainless trim. I vacuum the interior and cleaned the glass for the first time, and the Buick looks better than it has in the last 30 years. By the way, this is a survivor with 41, 617 miles. Almost everything is original. It's not mint, but it is in wonderful condition for being 60 years old. Only necessary components like tune up parts, carburetor internals, battery cables, the fan belt, radiator hoses, thermostat and internal brake parts are new. It desperately needs new tires before any serious driving is done. By the way, what tire would you recommend? It currently has 7.60 x 15 bias plys. Altough new tires may be a few years away, I'm curious as to what is recommended, whether bias ply or radial. Big whitewalls are a must.
  4. Thanks for the quick response and the link! That's a very helpful chart. It was a 5/16 / 18 bolt. I bought two new ones last night at the hardware store and they were a perfect fit. Except for being shiny, they don't really look out of place. I set them to 15 ft-lbs and that felt right. I also had to cut out my own gasket because they one that the auto places have never fit. The opening is a little too big and they have oblong shaped bolt holes, so they wouldn't even make a complete seal. It looks like Bob's Automobilia has the right gasket online, but it was quicker for me to buy some gasket material and cut out my own.
  5. After making some progress on the Buick by cleaning out the brake system and rebuilding the master cylinder and wheel cylinders, I hit a snag while trying to replace the leaking thermostat housing gasket. I snapped one of the bolt heads off and had to drill out the remaining piece. I think I may have over-torqued the bolts (and there may have been some gunk in the threads on the manifold). Can anyone verify the proper torque for the thermostat housing bolts on a 1953 322 V8? I have both the 1952 and 1953 shop manuals, but I cannot find the term "thermostat housing," or a listing in the torque-specs for anything that seems close. They list 25-30lbs for the "water manifold," but that seems excessive if it were to apply to the thermostat housing. Around 12-15lbs seems more likely. Thanks so much. My goal is to get this car to move under its own power in the next few weeks. I think I can do it, but I've got a time limit, and this thermostat housing is holding me back.
  6. I was scanning Craigslist and found this ad. I hope someone can save it. FOR SALE A 1950 BUICK DYNAFLOW
  7. Haha, great! Well, I'm moving to LA, man. I have never been to Lebowskifest or even heard of it, but it doesn't surprise me. I'm sure I'll run into one in LA. When I was there last year, I made a pilgrimage to an In N Out Burger in the Hollywood area.
  8. I'm so ashamed to say that almost two years later I still have not waxed this car. I am planning a move that will put me 3,000 miles away from home and the garage full of cars, so I've been motivated to get this car looking good and moving under its own power before I go away. Also, if Lebowski is still around, I absolutely love the movie reference! :cool:
  9. I plan to polish by hand and I'll try not to rub excessively hard. Thanks for the tips.
  10. Not to outdo Bob, but I worked on this for the past two nights (not all night, just an hour each night). I thought you might want to see those cars transported back to the original dealership.
  11. Hi, I haven't been on these boards in a while, but I was recently motivated to get my '53 Buick on the road, or at least to the point where it can be driven up and down my driveway. I'm hoping that it just needs brake fluid (and a bleed), new tires and a transmission pan gasket. I want to wax the car. What is the best way to clean, polish and wax original paint from 1953? What brand would you recommend? Thanks, Justin
  12. That all sounds good. Nothing wet came out of the cylinders! The battery is a few years old by now and has just sat most of its life. The battery cables are new. I did go through the starting system and cleaned the contact points as well as the engine ground, however, I know those things can corrode quickly, as you all have said. I will take another look at it tomorrow and also get the battery load tested. I will keep you updated. Thanks!
  13. Hi, It has been a while since I last posted here. Here's a very quick history of my car: 1953 Buick Super, all original. 42,616 miles. Bought by my grandfather in 1970 and maintained/driven by him until 1985. 1985-1992: Seldom started and driven by my father. 2007-Present: Rebuilt carb, fuel pump, new hoses, belts, plugs, wires, distributor cap, coil, points, cleaned out gas tank and lines, new battery and cables, cleaned starting system contact points. I did have the engine running several times and it would run as long as I would let it. I tried to start it tonight (its been a while, at least 6 months, maybe more) on a fully charged battery. I would just get a few slow clicks from the engine compartment. With the battery charger on the "engine boost" setting, the engine would not crank, and there were no clicks. I took all of the spark plugs out. They were all completely fouled. The engine turns over with the spark plugs out. Does this mean that there is water/antifreeze in the cylinders? What else would not allow the engine to turn? Thanks, Justin