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1912 Buick Resurrection Day


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Thanks guys... It was a hit at the swap today...

Even the qualified HCCA "experts" came to inspect it.

We brought 24 fliers to recruit new BCA members and only had 7 left at the end of the day...

I am bringing more for tomorrow...

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Well the 12 Buick is back in the shop after showing off at the Portland Swap Meet. I attended Friday and Saturday & ony went back Sunday (today) with the trailer to pick up the car and stuff from the BCA club booth.

The Prewar Swap Meet in Bakersfield CA was the same weekend, and I asked a friend who went to Bakersfield to let me know if there were any brass windshields for sale there. He called Saturday afternoon and put me in touch with a guy selling two brass windshields. I bought one and he delivered it late today on his way back to Seattle.

So now I have a steel windshield available if anyone needs one. I'm just glad I found a brass one before I put glass in the one I had. Now it's time to make new running boards, mount the tail light, etc. before the Centennial Tour on May

20th. It's just a day tour in Portland where the HCCA awards a brass plaque for cars that are 100 years old.

Yeah, another deadline...; I hope I don't miss this one.

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)
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I spent the last two evenings polishing the new brass windshield. At noon today, I took the two halves to a local glass company and ordered 1/4" tempered glass to install within the brass inserts that hold the glass in the tube channels. Standard safety glass is too thick. The new glass should be in on Friday.

If you look close, you will see that the top is installed backwards. There are two threaded holes showing on the inside where little rubber bumpers will go to prevent rattles when the top part is folded down. I'll turn it around when I install the glass this weekend.

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  • 2 weeks later...

MARK, sure, drop me a PM if you're ever expecting to come up here. My MG suffered a minor biff on the nose last fall and has been sitting at a body shop ever since. Hey, free storage, I was in no hurry. It is due to come home soon.

I love the '57 wagons too. If I wasn't so deep into my Roadmaster, I'd switch it for a Caballero in a heartbeat. Trouble is, a basket case, even 80% completed like mine, doesn't fetch anything. I'll actually have to finish the car to even think about trading up, down, or sideways.

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My buddy Dave Ebert came by Thursday to see my 12 Buick and talk cars. During the conversation, I realized that Dave was a body specialist with Freightliner & that he was probably the ideal guy to solve my latest challenge. The splash aprons are now too short because the fenders have been fixed. So I gave him a pattern so he could shape some new metal big enough to fit.

I will pick up some scrap vinyl flooring stiff, but flexible enough to make the patterns I need to trace on the new metal. Then we can cut out the new aprons, and hopefully get them painted and installed in time for the Birthday party on May 20th...

Just another deadline...

Saturday I went to three hardware stores looking for 5/16" compression fittings to make up the carb and filter connections for the fuel line. I finally settled for a 5/16 compression X 1/8" pipe thread that I turned down and soldered onto the shut off valve that is now installed ahead of the the sediment bowl/filter. This will serve to shut off fuel when parked and allow me to dump the sediment bowl and change the filter as needed. I put a little gasoline in the tank to test for leaks and VIOLA; No leaks.... at least not until I opened the shut off valve. The sediment bowl did it's job to catch debris in the line & I found out that a new newprene sediment bowl gasket was almost $5 at NAPA!

Sunday morning I installed the windshield glass with help from the boss readhead. She was afraid to push on the edges for fear of getting cut; I assured her that it was tempered glass with rounded edges.... She was very helpful in holding the frame while I worked on the brass seal to force it into the tubular frame & she made felt strips to cushon between the edges of the glass and the brass seal. I'm just glad she still tolerates me with six Buicks....

Sunday afternoon I fixed the "Death Wobble". One of my buddies advised me to set the tow in 1/8" which was wrong... After researching on The Internet, I learned that old timers adjusted for a slight tow out to solve it....; It worked! The choke wire also kept slipping out and killed the engine on several of my short test drives. And, it doesn't like to shift into second because the carb does not snap back to idle quick enough to allow the gears to align. So, I just need to make some carb and clutch adjustments to make it run reliably.

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)
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Mark :

I will remember that. We will be celebrating 35 yrs next month. If she doesn't kill me first. As the bills have started comming in from the restoration shop that is finishing up my 1937-41

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It is now Tuesday evening and tomorrow morning I have an appointment for the Washington State Patrol inspection for this little Buick. I must get it licensed this week just in time for the Portland HCCA Centennial Tour & Birthday Party shis Sunday.

I had the body blocked up above the frame while I was fitting the new splash aprons earlier this week. I also had removed the carburetor for a rebuild because it constantly leaked when the gas shut-off valve was on. So in preparation to drive it out to the streed for loading, I had to lower the body onto the frame and reconnect the carburetor & fuel line.

My wife was scheduled to leave to babysit the grandkids, so she came out in the shop and gave me a 30 mnute deadline if I expected her to help me put the car in the trailer. I was only about half way through my preparations and had to hurry up to have someone to steer the car into the trailer.

So, about an hour ago I "tested" the oil pump! I got in a hurry & clean forgot that I had disconnected the oil lines to the sight glass on the dash. Those big oil lines kept the firewall tight against the frame and had to be disconnected earlier in the week to lift the body from the frame. I started up the car and drove it into the streed behind my trailer. BIG MISTAKE! & WHAT A BIG MESS!

I used up all my shop kitty litter to soak up the oil it spewed all over the shop floor, down the driveway, and into the street. But now I really know how well the oil pump works!

I reconnected the oil lines and wiped down the fenders, running boards, and clutch housing. I just hope oil didn't get on the leather cone clutch to cause excessive slipping. She stayed long enough to help me load the car into the trailer and knew better than to say anything about the oily mess. I have seen others get in a hurry to load their cars into an enclosed trailer after forgetting to put the top down. So, take your time to run through a checklist in your head before making a mess like I did...

I hope you all learn from my mistake and don't get in a hurry when loading your cars.

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)
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Friday night status report is good and very bad...

The good: It is inspected, licensed and almost done. I fixed the oil leak, readjusted the carb and installed springs to make it snap back to idle when shifting. Then I took it for a test run...

The bad: It still won't shift into second without grinding (and I know how to shift these old crash boxes). But the bad news is that after I topped off the gear lube, I found a crack in the transmission case that would probably drain the whole transmission in a day or two...

So, I guess we will miss this Sunday's Centennial Birthday Party & tour planned by the local HCCA . I will try some JB Weld on the crack to see if I can at least slow down the leak until I get time to pull the tranny to see how bad this crack really is. The cracked case may also be the reason it won't shift as it should.

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)
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You probably have a bad bearing on the counter shaft. :( I've been there and done that in the past. The crack will not be easy to fix. The aluminum case will be difficult to weld even as the gear oil has soaked in the aluminum casting. :( :( Dandy Dave!

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Well I guess I am lucky the case is not aluminum on this car...

Can I call that lucky?

Depends on if it is cast steel, or cast iron. Chartreuse has an Aluminum transmission case. I'm not sure when Buick started doing that.

Any piece of metal will be somewhat porous, and over many years will soak up oil. This is why castings are painted with Glyptal on the inside from the factory. Glyptal is usually red, or sometimes yellow in Color. Any casting that has been soaked with oil will be more difficult to weld than clean and shiny new pieces. If it is cast iron, then the whole case will need to be heated in a furnace and then welded while hot. The problem with this is the casting will warp from the heat and then may require some maching after to re-flatten and true up the machined surfaces. Lucky You.... ;) .... :P Dandy Dave!

Edited by Dandy Dave (see edit history)
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Mark :

So sorry about your luck. I was hoping to finally participate in a meet this year. But with the 1925 laid up with brake problems. We were looking forward to the national with our 1937. The restoration shop promised to have it ready to drive several weeks before to do some trial runs first. When I visited them

on April 10 th we agreed to get a new wiring harness. Yesterdays E-mail now

informed that they haddn't sent for one yet . 4 week lead time. So they would not have it ready for the national. Upset dosen't cover for me.

Feel your pain...

Larry

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Larry,

It is all part of restoring very old vehicles... I see it as a temporary setback. After all, these cars have been waiting a very long time to see the road again...

Good luck with your restoration. I am sure you and I will both be on the road this summer.

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MARK, even though your amazing old car is not on the road today, let's celebrate its first century anyway. Birthdays come and go whether or not we can get out of bed. I'll enjoy a piece of cake today in your Buick's honour.

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This is unbelieveable! After a busy weekend and working a long day on Monday, I finally had time to check out my JB Weld repair on the cracked transmission case Tuesday evening. I poured SAE 250 WT gear lube into the tranny and after only a few minutes, it still leaked!

So I got out the ladder to check on some parts for other Buick buddies who had called the week before. While rummaging around in my storage space, I came across the two spare transmission cases I got with my 15 buick speedster. I knew they were not the same because in 1915 the shifter is a center shifter & in the 1912 it is an outside shifter.

But when I turned over the two spares, one was a side shifter! And, after I got it down and compared the casting number with the one in the 1912....

THEY ARE THE SAME CASTING NUMBERS! UN-FLIPPIN-BELIEVABLE!

So, I guess this weekend I will be pulling the tranny and swapping everything into the spare casting. I just hope the bearing journals are still good....

Here are the photos to prove it... I still can't believe it!

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Mark,

Now that you have a good replacement case, you might consider having the old one brazed up. These old cases were usually made of class 30 iron, and any welding shop worth their salt can braze the crack. They would of coures have to preheat and post heat the case, so it needs to be completely unloaded and steam cleaned.

I've never had any luck w/ JB on anything that has been oil soaked, and cast iron is so porous that it just can't adhere to the metal. Kind of like driving a wooden stick into the crack.

Just my $ .02

Mike in Colorado

Edited by FLYER15015
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Actually now that the lube has been in the gearbox for two days, the leak isn't bad at all. I think I may have seen some left over lube drips on the floor. I'll check again tomorrow...

Meanwhile, my next order of business is to check the spare gear case to see if the bearing journals are good. Then a good cleaning and inspection of the rest of the casting just to make sure it is A OK.

If the original gear case is still holding lube, I will try another test drive to see if I can get it to shift correctly. The shifting levers may be slightly out of calibration, or maybe the shifter itself is not aligned to make it shift...

I will still change out the gear case, but I want to find the shifting problem first...

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

I set aside the transmission issue for now and worked on getting the rest of the car done in time for the next All Buick Open in Puyallup. I spent this weekend on finishing the splash apron installations, covering the running boards with black ribbed rubber & installing the running board acessories.

I think the black rubber looks better than the original battleship linoleum, so I used ribbed black rubber I got from Home Depot. The roadster floor got covered in CoCo mat like the original cars used over the linoleum. I also used a CoCo mat insert on the step plate. With only one extry step plate in my collection of parts, and only one door on the passenger side of the car, it was meant to be...

The top of the carbide generator had been sitting around waiting for it's final sanding and coat of black paint. So it got painted but the base was not done. So while the paint was drying, I cleaned and polished the brass base and mounted it on the driver's side running board.

I still need to install the splash apron & running board moulding, but it is getting much closer to being a finished car...

The rusults are in the photos below:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mark,

I have 1912 McLaughlin-Buick model 35 with the same drivetrain. When I first got it, I had trouble shifting trying to double clutch. After reading the owners manual, it said to shift quickly to avoid gear grinding. I tried it and it worked however with a slight hesitation at neutral before putting it into second. Down shifts work best shifting fast. I can do third to second, second to first and even third to first with this system of no double clutch without grinding. I found this tread while search info on relining my clutch as it's lining is lose and coming apart. Do you have to take the tranmission out to reline and what's involved? I think you used leather. Mine has the new stuff so I will have to decide which way to go.

Thanks,

Tom Muth

Cincinnati, Ohio

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Tom,

Thanks for the shifting info. I will try it... I just dropped off the spare gear case to be cleaned, inspected & the journals measured at a local transmission shop. I will be flying to TN again this coming week and cannot spend much time on it right now... If the case is OK, I will pull the tranny to swap out the gears...

Yes, just remove the tranny to access the clutch. Be careful when you release the clutch spring by making up a slow release screw mechanism.

Bob Knaak in Orange CA is your man for relining your leather cone clutch. bobknaak@hotmail.com

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)
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  • 5 years later...

Sorry, but I clean forgot about this thread for a long while...  So, here's the update:

This little car sat for a very long time while I worked on a 1908 Model F Buick I was lucky to acquire (Thats another Story).  Like my other cars, the little Red Roadster took a back seat to the new acquisition.  

 

When I finally got back to the Roadster, I worked on several driving related issues.  The first issue was that the right rear brake would stop the car when I depressed the clutch.  I pulled everything apart and couldn't find anything wrong inside the drum.  Some HCCA buddies came to visit and discovered that the brake rod was too short and did not allow enough free play.  I swapped the longer hand brake rod and foot brake rods to solve that problem (evidently they got switched during restoration).  Then I had trouble shifting.  (It had been so long since I worked on this car, I just didn't remember the good advice I got from "tomcarnut" on June 12th above because the car sat for a very long time while I worked on other cars).  After I ended my working career and finally got back to playing with cars, I tried lots of things to get this little car to shift.  I made a clutch brake; it didn't help.  I made several clutch adjustments; it didn't help.  So, again the car sat in the shop and I even considered selling it. 

 

Meanwhile, I had planned to go on another HCCA tour with my 13 Buick Touring car.  But while loading the car into the trailer, it started to roll back down the ramp.  So, I stopped, increased the rpm a bit, and gently let out the clutch.  There was a big bang, and the Buick would not longer move.  The rear axle had broken.  And, the only pre-1916 car I had that was running was the little 1912 Buick Roadster.  So the 13 Touring got winched into the shop, and the 12 Roadster went into the trailer for it's first tour.

 

The tour was in Lewiston Idaho which is in a low spot in the surrounding mountains.  Every route out of Lewiston is an uphill climb, and the warm up tour was up & down "The Old Spiral Highway" http://roadsnw.com/rnw/15 .  Needless to say, I was a little intimidated to drive that road in a car that still didn't shift right and had never been driven outside my local neighborhood after it's restoration.  Fortunately, just before we departed, another driver on the tour (I don't recall his name) gave me the same advice as "tomcarnut" did;  I tried it, and it worked!  The little car made it just fine on the entire tour without any shifting or braking issues.  However, it did overheat one hot day due to water loss.  So, I have since installed a Moto-Meter to monitor the temperature and I hid a jug of water inside the acetylene generator to top off the cooling system as needed. The photo below was taken on that Idaho tour!

Ta Da! 1912 Scooter Buick.jpg

This photo was taken at the top of The Old Spiral Highway.

 

12 Buick Roadster at the top of The Old Spiral Highway.jpg

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)
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I learned the speed shift trick while trying to teach myself to drive my 490 Chevy. I figured,like my 1946 1 ton Chevy,you should double clutch. No way.Just grind.I got angry with it and snapped it into second,then third.Smooth as could be.Also found that the clutch has adjusting bolts under the face of the leather,creating high spots.This,plus a generous soaking of Neets Foot oil on the leather made it quite civilized.

Jim

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