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55 Century Convertible project


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Heck yeah!

I got some good ones in my jeans the other day as I was cleaning up my torque tube. (no sandblaster). Bead blaster yes, another awesome way to spend a back wrenching couple of hours.

All told, I'm totally digging this project even when it's a pain in the butt and nothing is going "right".

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Mike,

I remember a saying from my days taking engineering in university - "good engineers are lazy" - the context was in the concept of not re-inventing the wheel. The down side to your approach is that if something happens to Mr. Budd that leads to the site becoming non-functional...not to scare you off or wish anything untoward, but stuff happens unfortunately.

Just something to keep in mind....

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True...

I am lucky though that I have my other 55 right next to me while I'm working to see how the mechanical parts fit back together (like which way is up?) ....And yes, I have already done that numerous times. I'm also fortunate to have the three Bobs (Beck, Coker, and Mr. Automobilia) and one Willie, to lead guidance and answer questions that aren't detailed in the service manual. Plus, since I have done a 55 already, I know many of the parts by sight. While I have been rebuilding the engine, I haven't needed to bag and tag all of the bolts. Pics of rebuilt, freshly painted engine coming soon...

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You all realize that Mike's garage is a virtual garage ? No cars, its just a place in cyberspace where he takes pictures, applies some photoshop filters, and Viola, he has a car he is restoring....

Now where is that darned button that shows I am being very sarcastic, not to mention lying through my teeth.

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What is this Photoshop you speak of?

;)

If I could do any of that, I'd have a real job...

(BTW, Bill showed up on Saturday to check my progress and see flaws for when he judges it, so he doesn't have to ask if my hood opens higher) :D

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What is this Photoshop you speak of?

;)

If I could do any of that, I'd have a real job...

(BTW, Bill showed up on Saturday to check my progress and see flaws for when he judges it, so he doesn't have to ask if my hood opens higher) :D

Is it just me or does anyone else think Mike would still be out playing in his garage every day even if he did possess these skills? :D

Don't mind me Mike. I'm just jealous.

Rich

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Mike, looking pretty good if I may say. What or whose engine paint did you use for the perfect repaint of the motor? I have another thread on detailing the engine and this is an interesting topic. Let me know if it was Bill Hirsch or someone else's paint. Interested in knowing. I like the Austrailian Alcohol Hi Performance Injector system you have installed as well! Keep up the good work. Jim

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Yea...was this the one colour that is acceptable? :P

Love the look of a fresh engine....next pic is all dressed then right? Any chance of a Youtube startup?

We also have a thread on the '54, in regards to correct engine bay. Colour is always an issue as I'm convinced there were shade differences from the different factories. It does seem however that only one shade from one supplier is now correct?

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I bought the first batch of paint from CARS which is what I painted the sheet metal (i.e. valve covers, valley cover, oil pan) and the second batch I got from Bobs. The stuff I got from Bob had a CARS label on it. It doesn't match, so I am repainting the valve covers so it looks more consistent. I like the second batch, it is a bit more blue.

I just got done in the garage (12:30 a.m.). Among other things, I was blasting my NOS fan I picked up during my first 55 restoration, which I didn't use since I added the factory air (with five bladed fan). There is nothing like NOS parts. This baby is perfectly smooth with no pits or dings.

BTW, update on the hunt for rear axle seals. I finally found some at a bearing shop, however, they needed to be shipped from Kentucky and they cost even more than the old car suppliers, so I will be calling in another order from the left coast.

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The Foster's can is for my brethren Down Under!

And yes, my valve covers don't match. Hmm, more Jersey junk. REPAINT!

I'd love nothing more than to crack a tinny with you Mike to celebrate a job well done.........you send the fare and I'll be there :D:D

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It's not alcohol injection, it's flow testing...

I was just taking Bhigdogs advice from his writeup in Hemmings Classic, where he would treat himself after certain milestones. :)

If I could afford it I'd fly y'all in, just think of the possibilities of a full restoration crew!!!

I'd let Adam do the wire wheeling since he enjoys it.

It's too wet and cold today to do any painting, so I'm gonna hunt down an oil pressure gauge for testing porpoises. Might start on either the distributor or fuel pump rebuild.

Full dress Bob? Slow down, son :D

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Like I said earlier we have a thread just on the engine bay at 54B...basically the engines were test run before installation. If good they were sprayed right there and off they went. So anything that was provided from the test station was not green.

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That makes perfect sense..especially if you have ever worked or been through a auto assembly plant. Test. Check. Confirm. Paint. Assemble. Also, if I am not mistaken, weren't engines built at plant outside of the assembly plant? I know that certain GM plants were engine only, so they would ship the engine minus the details needed for assembly and installation in the vehicle. I do know this was the case with Chevrolet, and I think perhaps with the other divisions as well, since engine manufacturing invloves mostly sand casting etc. Usually not at the assembly plants. Do not know if that is the case with Buicks, but I would think it would be pretty standard corporate wide. Any information on this would be helpful.

Also, Mike..if you are paying for the restoration crew to come down..count me in! I can brew beer...maybe a keg of Buick eSpecialb Brown Ale would be in order.?? Jim

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Apparently, my crew is gonna be all lickered up! Kinda sounds like my days (nights) making a living as a rock star, the music came second, drinking was much more important. At least we could still sand rusty parts...

"Perchance to dream..."

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Are you going to run the engine before you install it, Mike? I always do, right in the engine stand. Cooling provided by a garden hose. Doesn't prove much other than it will run and the rear seal insn't leaking. If you do run it in the stand be sure to rig up a front support for the engine and take the fan off...........Bob

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I was planning to test for oil pressure, then bolt it to the trans so I could test the shifts as well. I'm not sure but you must have a sturdier engine stand than I have, that'd make me a bit nervous.

I planned on rebuilding the fuel pump today, but the kit I got from Then and Now (per instructed by West P.) was missing oil seals and had the 56 single hole top diaphragm. They stood by their product, were apologetic and are gonna ship the required parts. I like them! I got one valve cover on well, but I tried to touch up the left one and it wrinkled. Darn (I said). I'll try again. At least it wasn't a large area like a fender or something.

After those two mishaps, I decided to begin on the distributor, but got distracted by my new (replacement) credit card so I ordered parts from Bob's and Wheatbelt instead. Pic of pretty valve cover later when I get inside.

Later...

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Are you going to run the engine before you install it, Mike? I always do, right in the engine stand. Cooling provided by a garden hose. Doesn't prove much other than it will run and the rear seal insn't leaking. If you do run it in the stand be sure to rig up a front support for the engine and take the fan off...........Bob

This can be done??

My greatest fear is the Cam break in...I would love to get her started before the final installation.

Maybe I should start a new thread...

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This can be done??

My greatest fear is the Cam break in...I would love to get her started before the final installation.

Maybe I should start a new thread...

Sure. It's no problem at all and I have a cheap Chinese stand. Raise the engine a few inches to take the strain off the stand. Clamp a 2 X 4 to the stand in front and screw a 2 X 4 verticly to it to support the front of the engine. A gallon can on the ground for fuel. A couple of Fernco fittings with adapters for garden hose fittings (any hardware store). A battery. A few wires with alligator clips (radio shack) and you are good to go. I've done it lots of times with all my engines with never a problem. Just don't go bat s**t with the throttle. I usually run them at least for 30 minutes. Mainly to check for a rear seal leak which is not uncommon and is the LAST thing you want to find after everything is bolted together. Oh, leave the thermostat out so you have free water flow. The shop that does my engine machining also builds race engines and they do it all the time. One more thing. Make sure the Ex manifolds are on. Some folks say without them the valve stems could warp. Don't know if it's true or not but why take a chance. Don't forget ear plugs..............Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
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