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1939 Buick Special restoration


39BuickEight
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If this is the same as the "40 (and I'm sure they are similar), the handle is held in place by a brass retainer with the 1/8" tapered screw holding the handle in place. Because the retainer is brass (soft metal) you should be able to remove this with a generous amount of WD-40 and patience muscling the handle out. The wrecking yard sold me a mechanism where they torched the handle off to remove the mechanism, this distorted the brass retainer that is pressed in and the whole thing was junk. If you are going to replace the handles, you could cut the handles off with a sawzall, remove the mechanism and then soak this in WD-40 on your work bench. 

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 Persuasion worked!  The driver door didn’t have a tapered screw and now I know why.  When I tried putting one in, it wanted to really make the handle crooked.  I’m going to leave it for now, without a screw. I don’t see it coming back out again as I had to hammer it back in.  I have spare parts should I need them later.

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)
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  • 2 months later...

Billy, 

Every time I look at that last picture of that fab paint job, I see those four holes in the front of the driver side front fender. Is that for a front license plate? I have one in the same general area, but mine attaches to the bumper........ l am always amazed at the small differences over the months of production and the years of life for these cars!

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Yes, the front license plate bracket on my car was put on there.  I meant to have the painter fill those in before painting it and I completely forgot  :o, so I will just reuse them for my front plate.  The plate is supposed to be on a bracket that attaches to the bumper, but this will be fine.  Once it is on it will look normal, and nobody other than you will notice :lol:.

 

Should be back from the painter very soon with touchups done and the wheels will be red.

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  • 1 month later...

Finally got the car back from the painter after he blended the doors on both sides.  The right front and left rear were a shade off.  It took him a while because he works at a speed reflective of what he charged me.  Today I started back on assembly with the driver side trim and front end.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I’ve talked about in the past how I was planning to tackle the running board molding issue.  It’s rare to find them and when you do, the price simply doesn’t make sense for my car.  So.... here is the result.  From 10 ft away they look perfect. For anyone that doesn’t have a 30’s or 40’s Buick, they would have no idea.  I much prefer this to no trim at all.  I used an extra hood and door piece.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, 39BuickEight said:

This is going to make a huge difference.

 

 

Indeed!  Beautiful Job as always!

 

Are you going to have the wheels pin striped before you install on the car?  I haven't done mine yet.  Waiting for Bob's schedule to clear up but I think I'll take them down to him one at a time to finish the striping.

 

Keep it up....  

Gary

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32 minutes ago, Gary W said:

 

Indeed!  Beautiful Job as always!

 

Are you going to have the wheels pin striped before you install on the car?  I haven't done mine yet.  Waiting for Bob's schedule to clear up but I think I'll take them down to him one at a time to finish the striping.

 

Keep it up....  

Gary

 

Thanks Gary!  There is a local pinstripe guy who always has a setup at a local show here.  I may ask him about it next time I see him.  

 

 

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How I did the wheels-farm implement paint is very durable.  That’s what we brushed on the frame and other items under the car.  For the wheels, I went to a local store we have called Rural King (there are other locations, but I think it’s fairly regional.). Low and behold they had 3 different gloss reds in spray cans-Massey Ferguson red, Case red, and New Holland red.  I picked New Holland as it seemed to most closely match the Dante Red that 1939’s had.

 

I sanded the existing paint smooth while also smoothing some chips out.  After that, I primed with 3 ever-increasing heavy coats of Rust-o-Leum automotive primer and 3 ever-increasing heavy coats of paint.  

 

If, for for some reason, they don’t hold up (I don’t see why they won’t), it’s easy enough to either do it again or have a pro do it.

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9 hours ago, 39BuickEight said:

How I did the wheels-farm implement paint is very durable.  That’s what we brushed on the frame and other items under the car.  For the wheels, I went to a local store we have called Rural King (there are other locations, but I think it’s fairly regional.). Low and behold they had 3 different gloss reds in spray cans-Massey Ferguson red, Case red, and New Holland red.  I picked New Holland as it seemed to most closely match the Dante Red that 1939’s had.

 

Farm implement paint is what I have using for my 1908 Model F on the chassis, axles, etc.. because it is so durable and will be easy to touch up if needed.  Also, the red paint is not $500.00 +++ per gallon.   International Harvester red is a perfect match and is very durable.  I bought my paint at Tractor Supply.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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  • 8 months later...

Howdy everyone!  We wired most of the trunk today.  One issue.  The tail lights lit up just fine when the brakes were applied, until we ran a ground for the turn signals.  The turn signals work great (in the trunk badge as GM intended)....but now, when the brake pedal is pressed, the tail lights and head lights get dimmer.  Would you agree that sounds like a ground problem?  Should there be a ground from the body to the frame somewhere? I don’t have one that I know of.  Dad installed the wiring harness (except for the trunk/rear body) before he passed.

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How's your battery?  Are all your cable connections clean and tight?  Is the engine running when you notice the dimming?  The generator should be able to keep the lights from dimming.  But if the car is just sitting (not running) and  you depress the brake pedal, you are lighting two more lamps, which is a higher draw on the system.  

I ran a ground to every single lamp to avoid ground issues.  It was required for the new UVIRA reflectors in the headlamps, but it also really helped the fog lamps that are mounted to powder coated brackets and needed the extra ground.  

Just be sure you don't have a short somewhere when you press the brake pedal causing the dimming..........

 

Your car really looks great.  These electrical gremlins kept me awake for a month trying to get everything settled!

Gary

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Thanks Gary.  Battery is/was 100%.  This was all done without the car running.  Brake lights worked great until we grounded the turn signals, now they and the headlights dim when you hit the brake pedal.

 

I have to believe that there is supposed to be a ground between the body and the frame.  

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4 hours ago, 39BuickEight said:

 Should there be a ground from the body to the frame somewhere?

 

Yes!

 

1) Engine/transmission, 2) frame, and 3) battery must all be grounded together. If the negative battery  cable goes to the frame, the cable from the frame to the engine/transmission must be as big and good as the negative battery cable. If the negative battery cable goes to the engine/transmission, then the cable from the engine/transmission over to the frame can be smaller but still must be really good.

 

The body must be grounded to one of the three. Since they are all tied together with fairly big cables, it doesn't much matter which one. I don't recall where the factory body ground is on a 39 Buick, but I'll bet it runs from the firewall or cowl down to the frame.

 

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