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1942 Buick Roadmaster 76S


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it a twin carby car and had no back seat . i have got a new motor and gear box and diff for a her a chev running gear soon. gaz<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

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G'day Gazza,

I'm in West Aus - would be real interested in the compound carby ( twin carb ) set up if and when you do the Chev swap<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

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Hey Gaz,

You say the 55 went to Melbourne.........Where abouts are you?

Does the 55 have the original running gear? I's be interested in seeing it as I live near Melbourne.........PM me if you can give me some more info on the new owner.

I've got a 55 coupe as well......always interested in seeing other 55's

Brian

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  • 2 weeks later...

my mate has the 55 buick now he lives in melbourne it got a new 322 in it . but i have the nailhead out of it . i all so got the running gear out of out of 1958 buick 365 nailhead and box and diff ... i just got a diff out of 60?? something buick with a tailshaft so i can put it under my 1942 buick so it will have chev and 400 box ..i like the 42 but it to hard to jump in and just drive. i did drive it to wintersun this year

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  • 2 years later...

Lovin all these Buicks on this thread. And would like to get back to Jared on how he intends to proceed on this project.

I did not recall seeing these pictures you took before today. I do love this vehicle, and note this is quite the challenge. It looks like the drivers door jamb and the trunk drain welt are perforated and covered with excessive decay? Floor pans are also badly damaged and separated from the door jamb. Is the passengers side in the same condition? Also you need a wiring harness and eventually a new interior if the car is restored. The brakes seem to hold and the clutch does disengage the trans so the car can roll. So it appears the rear axle may be okay, the brakes are serviceable, and the transmission at least holds in whatever gear you had it in. I would take these as good signs that these systems are not damaged and can be used without repair.

I also now recall that the engine was not developing oil pressure. However the engine was free and you could turn it over manually? So where to start? Here's the first thing I would do to the car:

I have never had a staight eight, let alone one this old, but I assume the oil pump is still driven by a shaft that comes up to the bottom of the distributor. If so I would recommend researching where the line for the optional oil filter comes out of the motor. Work on removing the plug at that port. Secure a cheap mechanical oil guage to that port and then remove the distributor and rotate the oil pump shaft with a drill, to see if you get any pressure reading on the guage.

Here's my thoughts.

Without an oil filter, but with daily use, I imagine the oil pan would be carrying a good amount of coagulated oil ( A/K/A "sludge"). If the pump picked up any and sent it to the mechanical guage on the dash board, it could have plugged the line causing a "O" reading, even though there was still pressure. I am certain that if a new oil pump was installed, this sludge was removed. No one would take off an oil pan and fail to clean it out before returning it. But the oil pressure line could still be plugged. As a matter of fact, thinking about it now, I would recommend removing the line to the guage at both ends and wrapping a towel around one of them, apply 30- 40 lbs of compressed air to the line, then checking what, if anything, came out into the towel.

Anyway, spinning the oil pump shaft with even a moderate drill ( 1600 RPM) should produce some oil flow at both of these two locations and you may want to spin the oil pump with each of the locations open one at a time, to see if there is any flow and if any sludge is pushed out before hooking up the mechanical guage to get a reading. You won't be spinning the engine so no damage would be occuring if there is no oil pressure.

If you do not have any flow or pressure then you might still consider that the pump is not primed. I would check with anyone who has a manual to see if it can be primed without removing the oil pan.

Here are a few things to note.

If you have never removed a distributor before, please let us know. There are some things to do to make it easier to get it back in the car at the right setting.

You want to study the rotation of the distributor. You need to know which way it turns and then turn the oil pump shaft the same way. You do not want to turn the oil pump backwards.

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  • 3 months later...

I did not have a pocket full of money either. I did it piece by piece. Eating cup o noodles for lunch and learning how to do a lot of the work myself. I gained confidence in myself as I tackled each process. A lot of of times it I felt like giving up and selling it but who would buy and unfinished car for what I had already invested in it I would go out and look at it and cry in my beer saying what did I do to that poor car all in pieces. Patience and perseverance paid off with a lot of praying too. Because looking for that all elusive part(s) required praying. A lot of us guys know been there done that whether they'll admit or not. But the end result is worth it.

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  • 7 months later...

I also have a 42 buick. a Special series 40 model 44 3 passenger utility coupe. from your posted photos, I see you will replace many floor panels. Have you found a good source for replacement panels. I need most floor panels as well as the truck floor. Any help to find these panels will help.

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  • 10 months later...

Ok, so I have an update...granted it's been almost a year since my last. Upon doing ample research on the ownership history of the car, I have yet to figure out exactly if/how it ended up as an "officer's" vehicle at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. In addition, despite being the only known 76S blackout car known to still exist, I realize the car will never really be worth anything beside a unique symbol of American history. As such, I'm struggling with a variety of issues:

1. I have zero time to develop and improve the skills necessary to restore this car to its former glory.

2. The money I have saved and/or have access to will by no means fund an adequate restoration.

3. I could afford a hack job, at best, but do not want to compromise the integrity of the car should it be restored at a later date.

4. Maybe there's someone out there who would continue what I started with a love for this vehicle like I have.

5. I just want to drive it!

Alas, it saddens me to even consider getting rid of Alice, but she just sits in my garage and by the time I can do anything with it, those who can appreciate the vehicle and its symbolism may not even be around anymore. This is a tough realization that has plagued me since buying the car and while my intentions have been appropriate, after 3+ years reality it's finally sinking in. The last thing I want is to see this car leave the country, let alone California or even a 100 mile radius of Mare Island. The unconfirmed history of this car is like none I've ever known and it should probably be in a museum. Anyway, that is my rant for now. I would love some encouragement, a reality check, or any other feedback from the community.

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It's a tough decision when the "S" word comes up. So many times I have thought about selling something. And so many more times I have been glad to still have all my keepers.

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  • 2 years later...

How about an update?  I finally took the car to a local shop that diagnosed some poor timing and other electrical-related issues (sitting for how long? 20+).  A little squirt of fuel and she fired right up!  Good compression and oil pressure.  Hope to get the fuel system, electrical, and cooling addressed by winter.  

1942_Buick_Start_160909.mp4

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I'm just picking up this thread. I do remember that car for sale a few years ago. It is one rare car. Nice that it now runs, and has oil pressure! Still a good idea to drop the oil pan and clean it out. I've done that on many vintage cars and it is unbelievable the sludge and gunk that accumulates in the bottom of the pan. I think that the '42 engine is nearly the same as a '41 engine, and they have a floating pivoting pick up screen that is easily knocked off, so take care when or if you remove it.

 I will give you what advice I can, as I restored a very similar car, a 1941 McLaughlin Buick Roadmaster coupe, identical to a 76S, except for a very few trim things. Mine is equally rare as yours, and it took a quite a few years to get it restored.

 You need to do what you think is right, but I have a few suggestions, and I hope that you do not mind. I too at times nearly gave up on the car, but kept plugging away at it, and took  time off to refresh myself if I got burned out.

 I also did not have much budget, at times in particular. So, I did virtually everything myself, except for machine shop work on the engine, and chrome plating. I learned to MIG weld, you can buy the units various places for not too much money, you can likely take a night school course if you do not have anyone to mentor you before you work on the car.

 I had learned to paint back in the 70's, and got myself updated for the new materials and techniques. Waaaaaymore complicated than 40 years ago. Long story on how I learned to sew, but I did, and at the time when I was getting to that stage I didn't have the budget to get it done professionally, so I did all of the upholstery myself. Used commercial sewing machines can be bought for a few  hundred. Dressmaking machines usually don't have the power to do upholstery. I bought the headliner as a premade kit from CARS inc., not too expensive and my wife and I put it in.

 Yes, there are a few compromises on my car, but the car is solid, nearly correct and looks great. A look underneath the car tells the tale that the floors have been replaced. If you aspire to something like the 400 point judging the BCA has, that will not pass muster, but otherwise it works great, and the car is solid. I do not know how close the '41 floorpans are to a '42, but there are repros available now, but weren't when I did mine. A difficult thing is to make sure that the rockers and door jams do not distort with too much heat, if so, the doors will never fit right.

 If you know of a reputable person you could get some of the hard stuff done professionally, and then do the rest yourself.

 Anyway, sorry to ramble on, and perhaps you have already been through these thoughts already, but there are ways to get things done when you are determined.

 Keith

 

 

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Like Keith, I was also overwhelmed with thought about how I was going to do something.  Especially when it came to replacing sheet metal and engine work.  You CAN do it by yourself.  Borrow a mig welder or buy one from Harbor Freight on sale for less than $100.00. Go to a salvage yard and buy a fender off of an older car and PRACTICE on that until you are comfortable. Same goes for bodywork, prep, paint etc. you will be suprised what you can accomplish.  

 

I leave you with two pictures and five years inbetween.  I work a real job at least 10 Hrs a day.......

 

 

image.jpg

image.jpg

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You've got quite the project there Jared, but it's definitely possible.

 

I bought my 51' when I was 28, so I know what you mean about the age thing. A lot of the technology (if that's even the right word for it) on my car was completely foreign to me when I began. Up to that point, I had only played around on modern cars - nothing much older than the early 1990's. I remember reading the manual for my Buick and thinking "what is a torque tube!?" I had a terrible time figuring out how to open the hood when she arrived on the flat bed and it took me a good 25 minutes to figure out how to start the thing! I'm not sure about yours, but you have to press the gas pedal to start mine - after the key is turned. Push the gas pedal to start??? No 90's kid would ever think to try that, left to his own devices. I had to phone a much older friend for help. :P Don't hesitate to ask questions, even if they sound stupid. I felt pretty dump asking "how do you start this thing?" but as it turns out, it wasn't a stupid question. 

 

Best of luck to you with your restoration! Hopefully your wife is as patient as mine. That certainly helps! :lol:

 

 

 

 

Edited by WhipperSnapper (see edit history)
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I should also add: 

 

The problem with these older Buicks (even the rare ones) is that the cost to restore often eclipses the value of the car, unless you're willing and able to do most of the work yourself. If you farm out the body work, paint, engine rebuild, transmission work, interior, etc. you can easily spend six figures on a ~$40,000 car. A donor would certainly help, if you could find one cheap enough.

 

I'll definitely have more in mine than it's worth at the end of the day. Sometimes it's just about saving a car that most folks would otherwise scrap. I know that feeling well. :mellow:

 

 

 

Edited by WhipperSnapper (see edit history)
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44 minutes ago, WhipperSnapper said:

The problem with these older Buicks (even the rare ones) is that the cost to restore often eclipses the value of the car, unless you're willing and able to do most of the work yourself. If you farm out the body work, paint, engine rebuild, transmission work, interior, etc. you can easily spend six figures on a ~$40,000 car. A donor would certainly help, if you could find one cheap enough.

 

I'll definitely have more in mine than it's worth at the end of the day. Sometimes it's just about saving a car that most folks would otherwise scrap. I know that feeling well. :mellow:

 

  That would be the same situation with my '41 Roadmaster. Even doing most of my own work, I still likely have a bit more in it than its' worth. To be honest, I didn't count. I just bought when I had the cash, etc.

  Keith

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  • 8 months later...

Another update...

 

The radiator is rebuilt with new hoses and thermostat.  I fixed the fuel delivery issue by rebuilding the carb and fixing my own mistake of failing to reattach the fuel pump diaphragm plunger upon inspection.  The following video shows the new carb in place with fuel delivery for the first time since the 1990s.  The choke heat thermostat tube is broken and I'm sure I need to dial in the timing, but I have her down to an ok idle for now.  That is until the exhaust manifold broke...

 

Does anyone know where I can find a replacement center section/collector piece for a 1942 Buick 320 with a single carb?  The other side of the collector is also broken and held together with a hose clamp--is the part weldable/salvageable?  

buick new carb start.mp4

buick exhaust.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

 If it has a single carb, it has been changed sometime in its' life, as they would come from the factory with dual carbs. Not that it is otherwise a problem, as the engine will have enough torque and horsepower to cruise nicely. Broken manifolds are a common problem on these engines, take care when reinstalling, not too tight is important. There is info about this subject on the forum.

 Glad that you are making progress!

 Keith

Edited by Buicknutty (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, so I have the new center section, now how do I couple it all together?!  The new piece is quite a bit beefier than the stock piece but everything seems to line up ok.  The female ends are slightly smaller than the male ends on the other two manifolds.  

new center exhaust.jpg

Edited by Blackout (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

I've always heard they (the two ends to the center) must fit somewhat loosely so they can expand.  And, that is rust stopping the expansion that causes the end pieces to crack.  I don't know, that's just what I've been told.  I have two perfect used ends I would sell for $400 plus shipping.  I'd only be selling them to pay for something I want to buy for my new acquisition...................putting on paper bag over my head...................my new 1947 Packard Super 8.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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On 9/17/2016 at 7:43 PM, jackofalltrades70 said:

Like Keith, I was also overwhelmed with thought about how I was going to do something.  Especially when it came to replacing sheet metal and engine work.  You CAN do it by yourself.  Borrow a mig welder or buy one from Harbor Freight on sale for less than $100.00. Go to a salvage yard and buy a fender off of an older car and PRACTICE on that until you are comfortable. Same goes for bodywork, prep, paint etc. you will be suprised what you can accomplish.  

 

I leave you with two pictures and five years inbetween.  I work a real job at least 10 Hrs a day.......

 

 

image.jpg

image.jpg

 

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  • 1 month later...

Over the past couple weekends I decided to experiment with some oven cleaner and wax.  Now, I know the reaction most people probably have, but I've already committed to taking down to bare metal once I have the available funds; I just wanted to see what was under the horrendous layer of goopy primer covering the entire car and to see if there was any hope in bringing out some sort of patina prior to full tear down.  I found at least 6 different colors on the car (original brown base and metallic maroon; some salmon color, red and blueish grey paint, and a nasty top layer of brown primer covering just about every exposed surface including rusted panels.    

 

Also, I found beauty rings and the 42's center caps.  Any idea where I can find correct center cap clips? 

 

 

Buick Patina.jpg

Buick Center Cap.jpg

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On 16-10-2017 at 12:29 AM, Blackout said:

Over the past couple weekends I decided to experiment with some oven cleaner and wax.  Now, I know the reaction most people probably have, but I've already committed to taking down to bare metal once I have the available funds; I just wanted to see what was under the horrendous layer of goopy primer covering the entire car and to see if there was any hope in bringing out some sort of patina prior to full tear down.  I found at least 6 different colors on the car (original brown base and metallic maroon; some salmon color, red and blueish grey paint, and a nasty top layer of brown primer covering just about every exposed surface including rusted panels.    

 

Also, I found beauty rings and the 42's center caps.  Any idea where I can find correct center cap clips? 

 

 

Buick Patina.jpg

Buick Center Cap.jpg

 

Oh my… she’s so sexy! If I see this I would say: deal with safety and tech first (sheet metal, wiring, brakes) and don’t worry about the paint until you’ve driven it as is. Enjoy how she drives. She looks quite straight and, completely biased here, she is worth all the effort. It’s not the cost and value that counts, it’s the passion you put into it and the love you get back. 

 

I own a ‘49 56s which is IMHO one of the best designed cars ever, but way up there with it are the 76s of the years ‘42-‘48 and owning a car like yours is my secret dream. :)

 

*edit* Oh boy, I just found out I love the ‘42 76s the most due to its grille… You really do own one of the best designed cars ever! *edit*

Edited by Wilf Sedanet (see edit history)
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Yep, wiring and sheet metal are on my short list; brakes are ok for now.  Just needed a simple, immediate-result project!  I like the sedanettes from 42-50 and 49 is a particular favorite.  

 

Interesting note, I just learned that 1942 was really the first year where most of the design elements were modeled from the Buick Y-job, the first "concept" car.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_Y-Job

IMG_20171031_192242_910.jpg

Edited by Blackout (see edit history)
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