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Everything posted by unclefogey

  1. A couple of years ago, I lamented the fact that my neighbor traded his Buick, he had been an exclusive Buick owner as long as I knew him, for a Toyota Avalon. I also stated that I had been working parttime during the Christmas season and every tree that I tied on an Avalon, I asked what the owner, usually a senior citizen, had owned previously. Buick was the answer numerous times. One of the replies to my thread contained the statement that the Avalon was the best Buick that Buick never built Today I am driving down the highway and I come up on a new Avalon and there on the upper right hand corner of the trunk in gleaming chrome is the word "Limited". Was I really looking at a Buick? According to Wikipedia, Buick used the word Limited from 1936 to 1942, in 1958, and various times through 2006. GM must have failed to register Limited as a trademark or it might have such common usage that it can't be trademarked. I just found it strange to see that word on an Avalon.
  2. Given the comments to the recent thread concerning the '60 Buick which ended up on its roof in Holland after being thrown from a trailer, I was surprised that there weren't more cautionary comments about this thread. Man, you have more guts than I would ever have pulling that rig from Fl to MA. Looking at this setup, I wouldn't have gone around the block with this car. Did you catch in one of the pictures the position of the left side trailer wheels in relation to the fog line? One is dead center on the line, while the other was almost completely inward of the line. Probably a bent axle. Hope you at least had surge brakes on the trailer. Without dropped axles on the trailer, the car looked like it was in the stratosphere. I bet you kissed the ground and gave thanks when you finally arrived home.
  3. Knowing that the voltage regulator in my '41 was not functioning properly, I was on the lookout for the possibility of finding one at swap meets during the winter storage time. Found a similar looking one at the Portland swap meet (was visiting a friend) which was marked as for a range of years which included '41 but was stated as being applicable to the larger series 60, 70, 80. I asked the seller if it would work in a model 46, and he repied that it wouldn't because of a different amp. rating of my generator. Can only believe this is true, because he didn't have a sale based on this info. Bought one from Bob's, the one without Delco on it for $15.00 less. Bob's lists this regulator as for all 6V, 1940-53, so, go figure. The Delco logo one is listed as only applicable through 1951, so, go figure again. Nothing is listed for '34 through '39. I wonder what these owners do when their regulators give out.
  4. Back in 2006, after having my '41 for about a year, I quickly realized that the Sonomatic radio was just not cutting it as an entertainment source for the planned drive to Seattle. About this time, there was a thread on this site, which probably has occurred multiple times, on the subject of 6V to 12V inverters needed to power 12 V radios. As in this thread, it was stated that all that was needed to do was to go to an electronics shop and buy an inverter, which I was never successful in doing. A search on the web resulted in the usual "how to build one schematic" and one manufacturer, Analytic Systems, (www.analyticsystems.com) located in British Columbia which offered one 6V to 12 V inverter mod. VTC125-6-12 DC/DC. This model is still offered per their website. After some time, I finally got a response from the U.S rep of the manuf., Flathead Engineering, Centenial, CO, 303-795-6900. I don't know if they still exist as a rep. The price was $299.00 plus $24.81 shipping. Because of the price, I decided to try to see if the monster size portable radio/compact tape player I bought in 1970 in the Saigon PX, which had as an additional accessory a metal box which could be mounted in a car and which had a magic switch marked 6V/12V, would still work after sitting on a shelf for 35 years. It worked! Mounted it on legs to sit over the tranny hump. Listened to three books on tape on the trip to Seattle. One drawback was lousy radio reception. Outside of metropolitan areas, nothing. I offer this info since it was the only line to an actual inverter that I found. For the price, one would think it would power any accessory you would want. On the subject of GPS, I agree, Matthew, that these units have capabilities which no one knows about. The instruction manuals leave a lot to be desired. I just learned from the Garmin website FAQs, that you can view the entire route to your destination before starting. This info was not in the manual. That is why I am not without the Rand McNalley on a trip. I just received the most recent Garmin newsletter which offers a new software capability, for a price, which will plot out the most ECO friendly route to your destination. I don't think I will bite.
  5. Friend had a Skyhawk, believe it was a '77 or '78. After 2 engines and three transmissions (5 speeds) he never again bought a GM product.
  6. OK, who is going to be the first to plug their GPS unit into a 6V cigarette lighter and report back that it didn't fry it, mess it up permanently and it worked just fine on 6V? I have an older StreetPilot 2720, the one that weighs about three lbs., and on the trip to Seattle, the first thing into the motel room was the 12V booster battery to be plugged in for a recharge. The GPS system's affinity for interstates is sometimes a very large pain to someone driving a pre-war vehicle who is intent on staying on two lane highways at a reasonable speed. Never forget the Rand McNalley Road Atlas sold at the local farm store when heading out on a long trip. John BCA 41635 '41 Mod. 46
  7. Ouch, it appears that my friend's son-in-law didn't exercise due diligence prior to taking on this job. Appears that his feeling sorry for his neighbor's plight might get him into trouble. He probably should have said that he realized that the car's putty grey interior and all its accessories are in good shape, its body painted in a color chosen from last year's women's wearing apparel trunk show is in good shape, but its engine is worth the equivalant of a garbage bag full of crushed Bud Light cans. It was time to cut her losses and to move on. It might be a good idea before a backyard mechanic takes on an engine job, is to first check if a short or long block is available from the likes of Schucks, Checker, or Pep Boys.
  8. Had to try it for the heck of it. The response back indicating the initial title issued in Virginia in 1998 for my 1998 Ranger, confirmed what I thought when I bought it in 2004. It had not lived in an area subject to road salt. The wonders of auto auctions. Its present title does not appear, because, evidently, Minnesota has not gotten with the program.
  9. Derek, I haven't been on the website for quite a period of time, a little like your vacation from ice fishing, but I see your list of Buicks has grown. On that trip, I caught one that went nose to the top of my belt with tail touching the ice, which turned out to be 42", not big for your area, but for a little lake on the outskirts of the Twin Cities, is not bad. Got him/her back in the lake as soon as possible. John
  10. Received a call from my buddy telling me that it looks like I finally will be able to get my hands on the rear end out of his '55 Special. He has finally had it with the repair bills on the Dynaflow and is going to go with a big block Chevy and drive line replacement. First question, what would the possible ratios be in a '55 Special with an automatic transmission? Even though I lucked out and have a 3.9 to 1 in the '41 Special, I would like to be able to cruise at 60 at a little less than the 2700+ rpm that she turns now. I probably will lose a little pulling power on the low end, but it shouldn't be too extreme. That was the good news. The bad news is that last year, the friend heard what he thought was a strange noise coming from the rear end, jacked it up, pulled the filler plug and was hit with a gusher of a combination of gear oil and automatic transmission fluid. As backround to the question I am about to ask, on the trip out to Seattle in 2007 in the '41, I, and two guys on Honda Goldwings, stopped at what we thought was an operating gas station on Hyway 12, it wasn't, somewhere on the high plains of Montana. In our conversation about where to get gas, one of the guys said he had a '51 Buick with a problem, and that problem was that in the previous year, the seal had gone out on the Dynaflow putting ATF into the rear end, so that his only course of action to get it running again would be an engine and driveline replacement. Second question is, is the migration of ATF into the rear end fatal to the rear end? I would assume that there are degrees of damage caused by this situation. Could repair be a possibility or if the damage might be to the ring and pinion this would be a "Live with the 3.9 and get over with it", situation?
  11. It appears that this thread turned into an interior/exterior decorator's discussion rather than GM reliability discussion. Had a discussion with my ice fishing buddy while sitting on upsidedown 5 gal. pails and waiting for the northerns to bite. He said that his son-in-law's neighbor found it was cheaper to buy the son-in-law a $3,000+ garage hoist as payment for replacing the headgaskets on her 1998( believe that was the year) Cadillac's Northstar V8 than to take it to a shop. He also said that the "book" on doing this job states that the replacement can only be done once. When his son-in-law got the engine out of the car, that's why the hoist was needed, he believed that the gaskets probably had already been replaced because many of the clips on the engine holding the wire looms were broken. Is this engine one of GM's masterpieces that should be avoided?
  12. stevo, What's wrong with covering the floor carpeting with plastic? Ever see what four guys and their dogs can do to an interior while getting in an out of a Suburban over now 10 years of hunting seasons? Used the 36" wide clear plastic carpet runner material, putting it under the seats by unbolting the buckets and middle row bench seat. Carpet was totally cherry until I borrowed the vehicle to friend's son and he dumped a 32 oz. coffee which got between the trans. hump cover and the driver's side. Carpet went from basic grey to the other available stock offering of basic tan. You can't win.
  13. Have decided that I really want to know what kind of RPM's the engine in my '41 is putting out at highway speeds rather than depending on the mph to rpm chart in shop manual because I have 15" rims vs. the stock 16". I have tried to exercise due diligence by querying prior postings and have only come up with one by ZondaC12 relating to switching wires on a 12-volt tach in his '38 until the needle stopped jumping around. Nothing was said about how many wires and where they were finally connected. I also dug deeply into the piles of junk on the shelves in my garage and found the cheap, plastic cased dwell/tach meter which has just two leads and which I hadn't used in 25 years. Per my note taped to the meter, I attached the red clamp to the dist. connection on the coil and the black to ground (for neg. grd. systems) and got what I would assume was accurate idle rpms, 550, and dwell degrees, 26. Since I don't have the meter's instructions, I don't know if the meter was for use only with 12-volt systems, and use on my 6-volt system would give questionable readings. The major drawback of my meter is that it only goes to 1200 rpms. Given the example of the results from the use of the dwell/tach meter, and even though almost all tachs seem to indicate that they are for use with 12-volt negative ground systems (eg. JC Whitney catalog), is there a possibility they might work on a 6-volt system like my tach/dwell meter? Since I realized early on in my college career in my failed attempt to became an electrical engineer, I assume nothing when it comes to electricity and always ask questions. There happens to be a couple of 6-volt Sun tach sending units on ebay, but no tachs from that era. John
  14. Point of Reference. How soon we forget about the old phone company days and such things as the EPP, better known as the Extension Phone Police. Ma Bell would determine how many phones were resident in the confines of the sacred area known as your home by measuring the current draw when the phone rang, and if you had a phone not manufactured by Western Electric or any number of phones greater than the one that you were allowed in the price of a phone line, you were branded as a scofflaw, sent a bill for each additional phone, or told to remove the non Western Electric phone because it could damage the network. I agree, unless sufferring a financial loss, a bad experience with a vendor should be cause to move on to a different one with a suck it up attitude and no more. I did it.
  15. Here we go with the "point of reference" problem again. The bigger the organization, the more likely a lot of individuals harbor some or a lot of disatisfaction with that large organization. Toiling away on a Thanksgiving keeping the phone service open will be totally cancelled out in the customer's mind who can't get DSL service because the company owning the lines determines that it is not in their plans at this time. Since you are in Washington, and I am in Minnesota, we know what phone company I am talking about. Tried to turn to the city for help, but city manager was just as frustrated as I. If the phone company doesn't want to provide DSL service lines, they don't have to. For the record, it was Ernestine (Lilly Tomlin) who said, "We are the phone company, we don't care because we don't have to." One ringy dingy, two ringy dingies, etc., etc.
  16. Bill, It is the black and silver mod. 46 business coupe. It appears in the background of one of the meet's pictures posted on this site. I was only at the meet Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning because I wanted to do some sightseeing and have a cushion for possible problems before having to return to work. 4,100 very hot roundtrip miles. John
  17. Derek, My experience on the cross country odessey from St. Paul to Seattle and return in my '41 in 100+ temperatures was as follows: In the time that it took to pump the 10 to 15 gallons of gas at a fuel stop, check the oil and go inside to buy a couple of cold bottles of water, on restart she would turn over and over almost to the point that I thought I would kill the battery before she would start. Cut the start time down a little in this situation by immediately opening the hood (carb side) when I stopped at the gas station. But pull into a motel for the night in the same temperatures and not start her again until the next morning, she would pop right off. This was with the fuel pump that died two miles out of Bowman, ND, the old replaced pump that I put in, in the Super 8 parking lot, and the rebuilt pump I put in, in Seattle. I think it might be a primary carb rebuild time for your '41. After rebuilding my carb, the sitting time from the last driving where she would start in a reasonable time interval was increased. But why not also throw in a rebuilt pump also. The cost for both will be less than replacing just the pump in today's modern cars. By the way, nice meeting you and your family in Seattle. My friend was duly impressed with your son's enthusiasm over seeing another '41 pull into the show field on Wednesday. I don't think you have to worry about if anyone will be interested in your cars when you get too old to drive them. John
  18. Short survey while driving on the westward leg from St. Paul to Seattle via US 12 and 2 with short stints on I90. Counted cars passing me which was everyone. One Lucerne, five LaCrosses. LeSabres, too numerous to count.
  19. When I first started ordering parts two years ago for my '41, I went to CARS for some unknown reason. Can't say that I ever had a problem with their parts, just with the unfriendly attitude of the guy answering the phone and being put on hold, not to mention the frustration of their ordering website not working half the time. Somewhere along the line, after trying without success to order from CARS online, I decided to try Bob's and I haven't used CARS since. I was taken by the friendliness, helpfulness and positive attitude of the guy who answers the phone and takes the order. Before starting out for Seattle, the outfit that rebuilt my engine said they needed a pushrod galley cover gasket to stop an oil leak which was communicated to me at 1:00 P.M. CDT on Wednesday with my departure scheduled for zero dawn thirty on Friday. Told them to try Bob's and it arrived at 10:30 A.M. Thursday. When the fleabay purchased fuel pump died in the thriving metropolis of Bowman, ND at 5:30 A.M. on Saturday and the replaced pump that I had brought along as a spare didn't have my complete confidence, I ordered a backup on Monday at 8:01 A.M. somewhere on US 2 between Spokane and Seattle. The friendly guy said it would be in Seattle the next day, and it was. I am hooked by their service. If the BCA had a place for positive vendor testimonials, I would submit this.
  20. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1941-BUIC...sspagenameZWDVW It is a '41 speedometer, so if your belief that guts are same is correct, this might be a solution. I check ebay regularly and can't remember seeing a speedometer up for bid. Phone number is listed, maybe he ships international. Did the trip to Seattle with my '41 mod. 46, 248 w/a 3.9. Kept her around 55 to 57 mph. Did 60 to 65 only when having to keep up with traffic in outer ring area of Seattle.
  21. I will take opposite position on the K&N. Changed the filter in my 5.7, '99 Suburban early in my ownership after suffering the mpg shock from my '91 6.2. Can't say I saw any change in mpg in its over and over 400 mile trips over same route from home to up north and return. I think that after spending that amount of money on the filter, you naturally want to believe you are getting better mileage. There are so many things that can affect mileage, wind, temperature, speed over the same route because of traffic, etc., etc. Bought the filter originally because of the recommendation of auto talk show host saying he was getting 2 mpg more in his '97 Tahoe. The fact that K&N was a sponser had nothing to do with this. I would like to find an independent comparison report, K&N vs. normal filter. As far as catbacks, the mpg shock also drove me to a local muffler shop with a desire for same. Technician told me that if I was looking for gas mileage and power upgrade, this was not the solution. All the back pressure was in the converters. Thanked him, left with the $600.00 still in my checking account and haven't returned. 14.9 mpg highway, 14.5 using air and 14.5 in winter. City, not normally driven in city, but god awful when needed to haul things around. Forgot the recommendation of the service writer at my Chevy dealership. Must use synthetic oil. His friend was getting 2 mph more with synthectic in his Ford pickup. Results, see above. I am a firm believer that upon purchase of a new truck, you fill it up, do a 300-400 mile highway trip and check the mileage. Your result will be your future with that vehicle.
  22. I am not sure of the technical aspect of the fix, but the price seems reasonable. I say this because of my upcoming trip to Seattle in my '41 and the possibility of 100+ temperatures and what I thought was a great idea to take part in some ebay auctions of passenger side window swamp coolers. The most recent one which ended about a half hour ago, went for $400.00. Not to me. I only started looking at these coolers because the guy who is returning with me from Portland, OR to MN said he remembers a trip across the country with his dad and they had a swamp cooler which he remembers as actually working. Maybe he was delirious from the heat.
  23. Derek, I want to thank you for including a picture of my car in your group of photos and having it appear on this website for the first time. It was not the subject of a photo, but appeared in the background of the 69 Wildcat photo. As my friend and I sat in our lawn chairs in the grass after spending the three plus hours walking around the fairgrounds, we came up with a nickname for my car. We named it the "Old Fart Magnet" (we are not that young either). There wasn't a man in the 70+ age range that didn't stop and look, but those younger just passed it by. When the father in a young couple with a four year old son picked up his son to look inside, I got up and thanked him for bringing the average age down. I wanted to open the hood and leave it open so the sight of the 248 mill with dual carbs would draw them in, but thought the wind would deliver the hood to somewhere in South Dakota. Was hoping the guy who last year told me, "Nice car, engine color is wrong", would show up and look after I had the engine rebuilt and painted correctly. Was watching your car out of the corner of my eye as we were sitting there, but in the hour plus in this watch, no one showed up who seemed to be explaining something about the car and could be identified as the owner. I wanted you to give my fishing buddy your "Don't pollute the water with spraying bait minnows with WD-40" lecture. Just as not everyone got to meet the Queen during her visit to the Derby last weekend, not everyone got to meet the Buick owner with rock star status from Winnipeg. Maybe next time. Your new interior looks great. My gas tank story began with what was explained to me as a static guage reading caused by a sticking sending unit. It was additionally explained that in the old days, the cure for this was to drive on a bumpy gravel road. Not wanting to do that, I thought what would be better than giving the car a big bump by jacking the car up to the max with a floor jack and then quickly releasing the pressure so she came down with a thump. Well, with the added problem of totally shot rear springs, she came down alright, but down so far that the bolt holding the the jack handle in the jack made a very deep impression in the tank. I was lucky it didn't make a hole in the tank. All of this for a problem caused by a bad ground. John
  24. All things being equal, I would check out the axle ratio on the car. The service manual lists the "daub of paint" on the outer end of the axle shaft method of determining the ratio in additon to the jack it up and read the numbers on the bottom of the axle housing. The car on ebay has compound carburetion so the standard 4.1 would have no paint, with a 3.9 having red paint. Supposedly, a compound carb car would not have a 4.4 with a white daub of paint. I knew nothing about available rear axle ratios when I bought my '41, mod. 46, but I lucked out with a red daub and a verified 3.9 which the service manual does not list as an option for a compound carb 40 series car. A higher ratio would allow you to be a 65 mph impediment to the normal 75/80 mph freeway traffic rather than a 55 to 60 mph impediment. But then again, these ratios do have their advantages. As I absent mindedly drove to the Spring Extravaganza on Sunday morning, I forgot about the usual speed trap run by the local police department at MN highway 36 and Dale St. Chugging along in the right lane at my usual 60 mph in a 55 zone, a VW Passat passed me doing 70/75 mph. Needless to say, he was given a complimentary piece of paper that will cost him about $150.00. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> John
  25. This is where I came in on a post I made to a thread concerning judging which appeared immediately after the Rochester nationals. I drove down the first day in my daily driver to get the feel of what the show was all about. Getting the fever, I went to the registration desk, registered and asked where to enter the field and whether I could or should park with the group of vehicles of similar vintage (1941), that I had seen out back. No, I was told, I should pull up to the barriers on the main street, move the barrier, drive in, replace the barrier and park right there. The spot as described was about as far away from the action as you could get and had a variety of model years parked there. It was the back 40. Because of that I decided not to drive down the next day. A reply to my posting stated that should not have happened. I fully intend to drive out to Seattle this summer and attend the nationals. I have made a significant investment in an engine rebuild to try to have this happen without a major incident. I have learned from various postings that because of chrome wheels and hubcaps, my '41, mod. 46 running on 6 Volts is a 248 cu. in. street rod. Because of that, I will be sending in a non judged entry form. Based on what has been discussed in this thread so far, where will my car be parked? John BCA# 41635
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