buick5563

55 Century Convertible project

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Willie came up again to kick my butt into gear. We got the gaps pretty close all the way around with one exception. Ya know how 55's hoods split at the curve on the sides? Well, a while back I figured it'd be cool to weld the cracks. Whoops. The hood shrunk when I did that, so I am going to have to cut some slits and spread the front of the hood forward. Other than that, things are looking really good. I should be able to begin body work soon! Here is a pic of my Special above the convertible. I figured if it was the other way around, I'd never finish the convertible...

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I realized two things yesterday:

A) I have been away from this project too long. (I forget what I was doing)

B) Aligning body panels is really hard. (Seriously)

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I realized two things yesterday:

A) I have been away from this project too long. (I forget what I was doing)

B) Aligning body panels is really hard. (Seriously)

I just started that process also. Mud

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Slow with customers, worked on the convertible today.

The hood was not lining up in the front, so I cut some pie cuts and stretched it. I will re-weld it after I am happy with the line at the front bar.

Also widened the gap at the rear of the drivers side door.

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I spent days, no weeks, possibly a month on the gaps on my Special. Then lifted from frame only to have all the gaps shift around. Seems to happen every time I lift the car from the frame and sometimes just driving on rough road will knock them out. Constantly adjusting. Maybe it is just mine but it does seem to want to bend around a bit.

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Can any one please help an old fart that's in over his head? I'm in the process of or should I say attempting to reassemble a 55 Buick special convertible

basket case. After a few years of assembling parts it's time to put the old girl back together, the problem is I'm not sure how every thing is supposed to fit

What should the gap between the rear of the hood and the cowl be?

What should the fit between the front of the hood and the upper gril bar be?

Should the hood touch the grill bar, if not, about what should the gap be?

If any one could send me photos of how it should look it would be a real help.

Thanks, Rusty

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Rusty,

I don't have any photos of gaps right now, but in literature I have read, it says the gap is supposed to be an eighth of an inch pretty much everywhere. I know the front and back of my Special (which have really good gaps) are bigger than that. Anything less than a quarter of an inch with very little variation in any one gap will look fine.

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Rusty,

I don't have any photos of gaps right now, but in literature I have read, it says the gap is supposed to be an eighth of an inch pretty much everywhere. I know the front and back of my Special (which have really good gaps) are bigger than that. Anything less than a quarter of an inch with very little variation in any one gap will look fine.

Thanks Mike, questions, questions. With my fender to door gap good and hood to fender gap good my hood to cowl is more like 1/2 inch.

Next problem, how do you remove the round plastic disk on the speedometer, the one that takes the place of the needle, I would hate to brake it.

What did you use in place of the rivets on your top irons for your convertible top, yours look so nice I decided I have to try to do the same with mine.

These will keep me busy for a while

Thanks for your help

Rusty

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I would send the speedometer away to be rebuilt and calibrated.

A replacement top rivet set is available from CARS for around $200. May be available on ebay for cheaper.

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"If you want to get it finished, you have to do at least one thing every day, no matter how small, and never throw a cover over it!" (Ted Norgrove 1920 - 2012)

post-30648-143142861289_thumb.jpg

:D

Edited by old-tank
pro0erly attribute the quote (see edit history)

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"If you want to get it finished, you have to do at least one thing every day, no matter how small, and never throw a cover over it!"

[ATTACH=CONFIG]284095[/ATTACH]

:D

Funny, Willie, funny!

Ben

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Willie, may I suggest a new signature line for you?..... "I'm just here to aggravate" .....

Edited by MrEarl (see edit history)

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Well shame on him for not giving credit to you for the picture... and I seem to remember that quote he made was from another post of which he gave no credit to. Shame on him. Uhmmmm, seems agitatin is contagious.... :D

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I love the quote. I'm gonna ask if I can use it, though it doesn't mention being the top car on a four post lift, so you'd have to use a ladder to even open the door...

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As most of you know, I started taking in other wayward old cars to fix, repair and restore. The real disadvantage of that is that there is no time or more importantly, real desire to work on my cars. Even on light customer days, I'd rather regrout my tub than getting all greasy on one of mine.

So this project stalled for a while.

I have just been remotivated to work on it. Think of it as a light switch that once again got turned up.

Now the advantage of doing this for other people all day is that I am better and faster than I used to be.

I removed and installed the hood three times in the last two days and am finally happy with the fit. Tomorrow if the weather holds I will begin blowing it apart for paint.

Note to self. Order leather and send chrome away...

Had to use a come along to pull the fender to where I wanted it:

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Final fit:

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"Dedicated to the preservation and restoration of automobiles built by Buick" That's Mike!

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Blown back apart as promised:

A35CD78F-C6A4-47A4-B769-6F77A09A4D9C_zpsylwflutv.jpg

BA8FB1CF-A991-4ACD-8594-5018F8A7A954_zpseizfvgvp.jpg

Ordered a bunch of sandpaper and other paint prep stuff from our buddy Fred Z's TP Tools.

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