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I Just Got A 57 Buick Roadmaster


Thrashtard93
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Hello my name is Austin i am 16 years old and i bought a 57 Buick Roadmaster yesterday! it has a 364 Nailhead engine in it. I was wondering if anybody could help me out with just general knowlege.Like if you knew anywhere to get parts that aren't insanly expensive. And if you could help me post pictures up of it

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WOW a 57 roadmaster!!!?? That's amazing. I inherited and began making roadworthy my '38 at that age and I love it but....a '57 roadie! I'd kill for one of those! That is awesome, you're gonna have fun loafin' around in that dude!

Heres what ya gotta do to post pictures. Hit post reply. When youre typing your reply, just below where youre putting in text, look at the blue text saying "File Manager". Click that, in the box that comes up hit "browse" and find the picture or pictures on your computer and double click one to bring it into this window. Hit add file once the directory path for the file is in that long thin white box next to the Browse button. For each file do this process, then hit Done Adding Files.

Do you know how to resize pictures with Microsoft Photo Editor or MS Paint? They might be too large for the forum, gotta be under 2 megabytes. If you cant, go to photobucket.com. Register there, it's very easy, they'll walk you through uploading files. It is *free* of charge. Then you can link to those pictures by using tags and get the pictures here that way. Send me a private message if you need me to walk you through it I'd be happy to.

And definitely post the pictures in the Me and My Buick forum, and how you came about getting this thing! Can't wait to hear about it!

Are you mechanically minded at all? Even if not and you're just worried about maitenance, etc don't sweat it, we love these things cause theyre so easy to work on. Youll find tons of help here bud! We'll make sure she's runnin like a top and stays that way wink.gif

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Ditto all that Zonda said. A 57 Roadmaster is like one of the holy grail of Buicks. As for inexpensive parts, my advice to you is this: Call your local NAPA Store and ask to speak to the manager. Make an appointment with him for a time convenient to him, where you can just talk. When you get there explain your predicament, and ask him if he has one counter guy you can go to for help identifying and finding parts. If you hit it right, you'll make a life long friend and have an in which you can count on. NAPA has many of the parts for Buicks of this era, or can get them. In addition I suggest you spend $40.00 and join the Buick club of America. There are advertisers in the monthly magazine who can make just about any part appear.

AND, don't forget to write your questions to this forum, both here and in the Buick groups. There are so many with so much knowledge here, and 99% of us are more than willing to help.

Good luck. Now lets see this baby!

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JD,

I'm sure you know Chris with the '56 Chevy and the '36 ford AND the 51 chevy fleetline haha. I did meet him first at the shows and cruises around here, but it's kind of a similar story since he works at napa! And plenty of times he's referred me there "yeeeeah I think we actually can get those for ya"

Hes right Austin that's the way to go, thats the parts house to go to. This particular one I'm referring to, when I needed brake hoses, they looked the year and <span style="font-weight: bold">model</span> of car even up......wait for it.....in the <span style="font-style: italic">computer</span>. That about blew me away.

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Hello Austin, welcome to our world and congratulations on the Buick, a great old car to be sure and your experience can be educational and lots of fun. All the advice above is good, in addition get a free catalog from Kanter and Egge Machine (google them) for a backup plan for parts you cannot get locally. My best advice is do not take anything apart yet until you do a little homework first, read all you can that is relevant and BUY THE SERVICE MANUAL(S) ASAP!! In the car world there are general manuals that cover all cars like Chiltons, Motors, and Haynes. They are good but are often a little too general, if you can get one for a few bucks keep it in your library. The factory manuals were issued every year by Buick to the dealer service departments and are the most detailed. You should be able to find one for less than $50. There were also usually individual manuals for the transmission, air conditioning, and body, these should be purchased too, as even if you will not be working on your own transmission or something you can give the info to your mechanic. If you can find a local old car club join up so the old timers can give you advice on your local parts & service scene, and assume the local Buick dealer will have nothing for you unless they are VERY old. Good luck and enjoy, Todd

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Make sure you check the suspension really well. The ball joints for that car are a difficult to find,($$$$!!) and I believe only fit one year. Members of the buick club can really help you with that. I can give you all the MOOG and TRW numbers for the '57 suspension.

Dan

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Paul, Is that the NAPA I recommended or which one is that?

I use one NAPA and usually go to the same counter guy. He has helped me so much I can't even begin to count the times. The latest is with the radiator on my 78 Wagon. I bought a new one from him back on November 10th, and I found out today that the core is leaking. He looked it up on their computer system, contacted the supplier, ordered me a new one, and will have it by Thursday. All this when I can't find the reciept.

More than that, this guy really likes cars. His job is not just a 9-5 to him. If something isn't in the computer he knows how to use the books and does so freely. And it's usually the lowest priced place too.

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Hi Austin,

First, I want to welcome you to the world of old cars. It's a fun hobby. It can be an expensive one but doesn't have to be. I think your choice of a 1957 Buick is a good one. It shouldn't be too expensive to work on and the parts should be fairly easy to find. The Buicks of the mid 50's are a pleasure to drive. I have a 56 Buick Special but I rarely drive it as I am focusing my attention on my 26 Chevy.

You will find many here who will more than gladly help you. No doubt you will also enjoy cruises and shows, although because you are so young you may feel a little out of place. Don't take that personally, it's the nature of the beast. Very few people your age are into cars this old. Us older folks are always glad to welcome someone in the fold, especially the younger ones. It assures us the hobby and love of these cars will survive us.

I was thinking a short while ago about you, your age, and your Buick. Your Buick is 51 years old. I was 16 years old in 1966. Had I bought a 51 year old car then it would have been a 1915 whatever. I sure wish I had but no doubt they were harder to find then a mid 50's car is today.

In any case, again, welcome to the hobby and good luck with your car. For many of us, the search for parts, the time, effort, expense, and labor put into making and keeping our cars road worthy, is far more than half the fun.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Thrashtard93</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hello my name is Austin i am 16 years old and i bought a 57 Buick Roadmaster yesterday! it has a 364 Nailhead engine in it. I was wondering if anybody could help me out with just general knowlege.Like if you knew anywhere to get parts that aren't insanly expensive. And if you could help me post pictures up of it </div></div>

Check with "gearhead" on this forum (or the Buick forum). He is a good guy with a 57 Buick Convertible, and I believe it is a Roadmaster. He was trying to get A-arms from a 59 Buick to replace the 57's, since the ball joints are very expensive. You may want to PM him. Good luck youngster, glad to have you aboard.

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  • 1 month later...

Austin,

Have you made any progress on your Roadmaster? Is it a coupe, sedan, convertible? Roadmaster 75? I ask because if it's a 75, disregard my interior comments after the first picture. I've owned a Model 73 Riviera Sedan since 1992, having "met" the car in late-'89. Below is what she looked then...

57_As_Found.jpg

Larger, click once after opening.

Bad retread tires, rusty rear bumper ends, and an interior that needed new upholstery and carpet. The door panels, dash, and headliner were fine, and in 2001 the interior was redone using correct upholstery. The latter is key, as the cloth on the seats matches the vinyl on the door panels and front seatback. The material is pricey, but don't let someone talk you into using other stuff that will be wrong; "do it once, do it right" comes to mind.

57_Int_1.jpg

Larger, ditto.

Dash_57_Buick.jpg

Larger, ditto.

Notice the "engine-turned" dash fascia; it's an applique that often gets worn away with over-zealous cleaning. That's bad. The same aluminum piece is interchangeable on Century, Super and RM's; that's good. When you open the glovebox, does the stuff in there fall out? Early cars (like mine) weren't equipped with a bar that runs along the width of the box insert. If yours doesn't have one, look for it in parts cars; I've seen both metal and plastic versions.

57_Int_2.jpg

Larger, ditto.

57_Int_3.jpg

Larger, ditto.

Invest in a fire extinguisher for your safety and that of others...you'll need it for shows, anyway. (The RM 75, introduced in mid-March, 1957 had a vastly different interior with near Cadillac-quality and luxury. That's why I asked which yours is).

The following pix are from road trips taken in the '90's, before much work (other than mechanical) had been done. There's nothing wrong with driving and enjoying your car while saving/spending on it. Get ready for <span style="font-style: italic">alot</span> of the latter! (But it'll be worth it).

Jonesys_LaFayette1.jpg

Larger, ditto. <span style="font-weight: bold">LaFayette, IN</span>

Roadmaster_Stonehenge1.jpg

Larger, ditto. <span style="font-weight: bold">Athens, GA</span>

Hughes_Bros.jpg

Larger, ditto. <span style="font-weight: bold">Wilmington, NC</span>

All '57 Buicks tended to overheat, and Product Service Bulletins were released later during production to remedy that problem. One stated that the cars ran and cooled fine, but that the temperature gauge needle should be bent back to better reflect actual temps. Mine ran consistently too hot, so I had the radiator re-cored, adding another row of cooling tubes, and she's run cool as a cucumber ever since. The brakes aren't the best, so stay away from mountaintops. That issue was corrected when the 75's came out with finned drums, adopted by all Buicks for '58. One writer noted at the time that Buick brakes went from the worst in '57 to the best in '58.

I reiterate what has been said by others about getting all Shop Manuals (Body & Chassis), Parts Book (covers several years, with great illustrations and interchanges), and anything else you can lay your hands on. Remember that RM's (70-series) and Supers (50-series) are on GM's larger C-Body, while Specials (40) & Century's (60) use the smaller B-Body, shared with Olds 88 & 98's. Bodies on 50 & 70's are almost three inches wider, much longer and totally different than 40 & 60-series bodies. All glass on 50-70 cars interchanges with '57 Cadillacs, model for model (2-doors, 4-doors).

Don't buy anything from a Special or Century unless you're certain it will work.

Things like bumper ends work on all '57's, but the bumper centers and grilles are too narrow. If you need to buy a grille, 40-60 cars have 96 vertical "electric-shaver" vertical bars; 50-70's have an even 100 vertical bars. If you find a grille, it's not that hard to count the bars to make sure.

57_RWB_Show_2008_1X.jpg

Larger, ditto.

To insert your photos (and a link to larger, if you wish), first load them from your computer to the Photo Gallery, tabbed above on the page header (or any other host site). Then follow these instructions...

http://forums.aaca.org/ubbthreads.php/topics/429887/1

Roadmistress_Rainey6X.jpg

Larger, ditto.

135,000 miles and counting, she still wears her original Dover White paint (the Dresden Blue was resprayed decades ago). The rear bumper was re-plated, but as you can see, the front needs it too; eventually, when I can afford it. I hope you get many years' enjoyment from your Roadmaster...

It'll be a great ride!

Regards,

Tom Gibson (TG)

PS. From the cars' intro, the rear window on RM's could be had with or without the chrome strips that run down from the roof. Two-doors Model 76R with, 76A without; four-doors, 73 with, 73A without. They are one-piece backlights (interchangeable with Caddy's) that are trisected with rubber gaskets and stainless steel trim inside and out. They are <span style="font-style: italic">not</span> three separate pieces of glass as in all B-Body Buicks and Olds series. A handful of RM 75's have been identified as having the trisected roof/backlight treatment, but have to have been special orders.

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