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srnad8

Need Help/Advise on Course of Action

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Hello all, and first let me thank anyone who contributes with advise on my project to be. I have a fairly original '49 Buick I purchased a few months ago. I have had some time now (between Seattle rainy days) to try and come up with a plan of action. The paint is very fair, and it has been changed from the original Regency blue met. to black, and it was done very well with regards to trunk, hood, door jams etc. being also painted black (it took me quite a while to find a tiny bit of the blue under a broken hood seal). I can live with the paint job as a driver (it is a Super 4-dr sedan; so it will never bring great money as you all know), but the weather stripping, windshield, side glass seals, trunk seals, etc. all need replacement as there are small leaks into the pass compartment, and my garage is filled up so it stays outside. The under carriage is bad in that it had rubberized undercoating done many years ago that is flaking off in several spots, but not rusted, just looks like crap. The engine and transmission have been rebuilt and painted (though the clutch is suspect as it shudders in 1st and 2nd at take off). Speaking to the guys that have restored and/or refurbished Buicks in the past, and with the idea that I don't want to spend a huge amount of money on a 4-door car, what would you do, and in what order? Brakes seem good; high pedal and e-brake functional. Tires now good. Small rust spot in trunk @ bottom of spare tire well. The matting under the carpet in the rear is fairly damp, so I am also worried about the floor which appears to be solid as far as I can see. I'm already up to 1K in tires, heater ducting, pedals, some decals, blah blah. Also chrome is all there, but bumpers though shiny are pitted through--the car is the definition of a 20 footer. Interior is very presentable; i don't plan on doing anything except flooring). Any help and advise/feedback will be greatly appreciated. I also have quite a few spare parts that are either duplicates, or for a different year/model (i.e stone guards for a 46-47 sedan I believe, that are in good shape). Extra hub caps and trim rings, manifold/carb, etc.; would be happy to give anyone interested a list via email. Sorry if I went on, but I thought that in order for anyone to give advise, as many details as possible would be helpful. Thanks again. Dan/Bremerton, WA.

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Well Dan, that car looks really good to me. Just because it's a 4 Dr, or a Super, I would not automatically assume it would never bring "great money". You might be surprised what a car like that would get from an interested party. But I am just wondering if you bought the car for an investment or for the joy of ownership? That might make a difference on how to proceed with refurbishment.

Note I said refurbishment rather than restoration. One is fixing things so the car looks good and is safe, the other is fixing everything so that the car resembles ( as close as possible) it's presumed condition on the day it was delivered to the original purchaser. Quite a difference in the costs involved.

Anyway, with either process I think it is impreative to do the vent window seals and the front and rear windshield seals. On my 56 I did not want to pull the glass out of the rear for fear of breaking it. So I took it to a local windshield guy after I removed the chrome trim and he put a bead of the urethane glue all around the window. Then I put a small bead od silicone RTV sealant on each hole where the trim bolts went through the body and that took care of the small leak I had back there. The windshield I have not tackled yet because of the paint considerations.

To put on a new seal you have to remove the glass. So you really need to assess if you need a new windshield before taking out the old one, and secure that first. Once the window is out you may want to reassess the paint job. If you want to restore the car you'd want to change the color before putting the windshields back in. Same with the door vent windows.

If you are refurbishing then I'd reseal the windows first and then address the floor and frame, basically top down like a house. But if you want to restore the car then I'd consider doing it the way others are, remove the body and start with the frame, bottom up.

Good luck with your options. And look forward to watching your progress.

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Beautiful car, Dan.

Those leaky windshield/back glass will certainly cause trouble long term. New rubber seals are available. Perhaps a car cover of some kind. I like Johns fix. will probably try that on mine.

That back bumper will clean up somewhat. I found PB Blaster will soften the rust. Then if a cloth does not clean it, a LIGHT polishing with 0000 steel wool. Try a small area first.

I would just drive it and enjoy for awhile.

What hub caps do you have?

Ben

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John: thanks so much for your advise. to answer your question about the car being an investment or keeper, that's a tough one because I love every car I've ever owned, but only usually have 1 or 2 at a time for financial reasons. I've always looked at it as a hobby you can enjoy, and if you are smart/lucky get all or at least most of your investment back, to move on to the next one. Lets face it how many hobbies can you say that about? Aside from tying up your money initially, if you get a year of two of enjoyment/driving and break even after all is said and done, that is a great thing in my opinion. I'm never looking to make a profit, but just get my money back if I can, heck I'll even consider trading someone. So your advise is very sound on the refurbishment aspect; make it safe and functional. Fixing the seals and leaks seems like a good place to begin.

Ben: you back up what John said. I can do cleaning and grunt work, but I think I'll get a pro to do the glass seals, etc. My experience is in the mechanical end. the hub caps I have are fairly common I think. I will use the original full wheel covers, so the hub caps/trim rings (such that would come on a Special, and prior years) are up for grabs ( I have 6 or 7 sets) or trade something I can use for the '49. I also have a set (4) of the spinner hub caps (pictured/front) that are in good condition, and are actually quite heavy (not chincy/flimsy). If you're interested in anything, you can email me at: dsaucier@wavecable.com Thanks again, gentlemen, and hope to hear from a few more people with any words of wisdom. Dan

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After making the car water-tight, the next thing I would do is get that clutch chatter fixed, because it will only get worse, it is hard on the rest of the drive train, and it takes a lot of the enjoyment out of driving the car. It could be something as simple as

oil on the clutch disk, or maybe something in the drive train is out of alignment.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

1949 model 59

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Hi,

Boooootiful Ride!!!

I suggest that before doing any major dismantling of the drive train to deal with the low-gear shudder, you should carefully check to see if your motormounts have separated. When the rubber gets old and brittle, it breaks or separates from the steel, and with low gear engagment the engine "rocks the cradle," as it were.

--Tom <---- survived separating engine from that &!*&%!# torque tube. :)

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Tom: holy schnikeys, Tom. I would have NEVER thought to look at the motor mounts. I will defineitely check that out. Mostly original; that is so possible. The seller insisted on quality rebuild of the motor/clutch/trans (no receipts :o( Thank E Tom, that is very insightful. And that's what I'm talkin' about,,,,,,

In my haste last evening, I forgot to mention how nice your car was; and what a collection (not sure what a '49 Aching Back is)! My better half LOVES '30's steel (as do I)--the '49 was a compromise,,,,,,,

Pete: I didn't see your reply above until this morning (still getting used to the whole forum thing). Thank you for the information. That is definitely at the top of my list, as it can't be a good thing. Funny thing is, the more I drive it, the more I "learn" to minimize the shudder, by lower rpm's @ shift (basically idle speed) and a "quicker" engagement. Not sure if that makes any sense, but sometimes lately I have been able to take off (does it in reverse also) without any shudder at all. At 57 Y.O. I hope it's not me still learning to drive a stick :o)

Edited by srnad8 (see edit history)

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