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1952 Special Deluxe Project


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Geoff, click on the following link to go to my Kaiser acquisition thread: http://forums.aaca.org/f115/off-topic-my-newest-addition-362149.html. Good luck with your dash. Take plenty of pictures! I know I'd like to see a thread on wiring harness replacement.

Ben, I KNOW!! That's wild. Imagine what it would look like next to a big Roadmaster! No wonder these cars supposedly got around 23 mpg! 6 cylinder engines and they are pretty small compared to the other cars of the day.

Keith, I have an introductory thread here on the AACA Buick Forums (click that link I posted for Geoff above). I was going to start a thread in the Kaiser Frazer section of these forums but it looks like it's seldom used. Instead, I began a thread over on the Kaiser Frazer Owners Club forum which is frequented by quite a few KF club guys. You can click the following link to visit it but as of right now it's pretty much a re-hash of the one I posted here. I'll be adding to it as I begin to work on it. By the way, if you're not a logged in member of the KF forum, you can't view the pictures on the threads that have been uploaded through the site. I thought this was Kind of weird so I started uploading them through another site so anyone can see them. It is free to join the forum though. Here's the link: http://kfclub.com/forum/index.php/topic,5184.0.html

Edited by shadetree77 (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Hey Robert! Have you made the move yet? Let me know when you get up to the great white North! In Pontiac, you will only be about 20 minutes from me. Would like to meet for a Buick Brew or 2 to welcome you here! Congrats on the Linus acquisition. Very nice, and pretty rare vehicle. Looks like it's in great condition! PM me with your details. Thanks and good luck!

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Jim,

Decided to respond here rather than PM in case anyone else was wondering what's going on with us. We are within weeks of being fully moved to Michigan. My Wife is there already in a temporary apartment. She is thoroughly enjoying being a Lab Engineer at GM.

I am staying with my parents in Georgia while I finish up everything here. I am done with all of the packing and we are almost ready to schedule the movers to come and get our household goods. I am currently elbow deep in my 1998 Jeep Wrangler trying to get it running again so that we can get it to Michigan. At around 250,000 miles a few years ago one of the piston skirts exploded. I am putting in a new piston among many other new parts to get her back on the road. I hear tell from my Wife that I am going to need that 4 wheel drive when I get up there! I hope to have that finished up in the next two weeks and then I'll be able to move up there. I will be leaving my Buick, my Kaiser, and my tools here in Georgia at my Dad's house for the time being. I will be coming back in early spring to pick them up personally and haul them to our new place in Michigan.

Speaking of our new place, we have rented a house in Waterford. I think we're going to rent for a year or two and then look into buying a place. The new place has an almost 600 sq. ft. garage with enough room for both cars and a small work area to the side. It also has a small garage door on the back side of the garage that allows you to drive through it and into the fenced in back yard. On top of that, theres a full finished basement with a work shop, a small enclosed area between the house and garage that can be used for another workshop, and a large storage shed out back. Perfect for a car guy! There is electricity in the garage but no heat. I'm already looking into my heating options. I'm going to spend the 3-4 months waiting on Spring to renovate the garage. Lights, maybe a little paint, cleaning, heat, etc.

I am looking forward to meeting a lot of new Buick buddies that live in the area. Not to mention going to all of the historic sites, museums, and car shows. We'll definitely get together at some point Jim. I look forward to meeting you and your Buick and enjoying a few cold brews.

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Robert,

No problem..good call. There are plenty of us Buick boys and girls up here in Michigan that would like to meet and greet and talk Buick-ese! A few comments on the items from your post

A) Yes 4WD does come in handy in these parts..especially lately! Hope you like snow!

B) Your new place sounds pretty awesome for a car lover..fits you to a T!

C) Looking forward to meeting you and showing you around when you get here, or at least jawin' about Buicks and brews!

Good luck on getting the Jeep fixed and safe travels on your drive up. Enjoy the sights on the way (ok, maybe not so much to see going through the Oh state...):)

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Robert,

Just caught the thread about your move north. The South is losing a great resource-Kentucky is used to Georgia support! Congratulations on your move, and while I hope you don't miss the summers too much (I had to do that), it seems somehow fitting that Michigan be your new home for awhile - is this like a pilgrimage? Will keep looking for your progess, and safe travels friend!

Dale in Kentucky

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Just stopping by with a little update, well, maybe not so little. My Buick, my Kaiser, and the entire contents of my shop and outside area are now resting comfortably in my Michigan garage. What a long, stressful journey it was but all went off without a hitch.

We left Michigan at around 3 AM Saturday the 5th. My Wife was able to check out a brand new GMC truck via the GM Employee Ambassador program. It had towing capabilities so it worked out well for us. We drove the 10 hour trip to Georgia and began loading the Uhaul as soon as we pulled in. My parents had picked up the Uhaul the day before and my Dad had already loaded up quite a bit by himself. We loaded until dark and then got a few hours of sleep.

Woke up early Sunday and busted butt to finish loading the entire contents of my shop and outside area into the 20 foot Uhaul. We had that thing maxed out for sure. Also loaded the Kaiser onto a Uhaul auto transport to be towed behind the Uhaul. It is a non-running car so I used my brand new 8500 lb. winch to load it up. We attached the winch to the drain holes in the heavy duty bumper of the Uhaul. Worked out great.

Monday morning we picked up the second Uhaul auto transport in town, ran a few errands, and headed back to load the Buick behind the GMC. We headed out around noon with me driving the Uhaul truck/Kaiser and my Wife driving the GMC/Buick. Stopped in Chattanooga and unloaded the Buick for a drive over to Coker Tire. I had an issue with my white walls, which they corrected, and then we were back on the road. We drove straight through to Michigan, a full 19 hour trip altogether, most of it in rain storms. The Uhaul truck was so loaded down that I had trouble keeping it at the recommended 55-60 mph!

We pulled into our house early Tuesday morning, unloaded the Buick, and slept for a few hours. Woke up that afternoon and unloaded the Kaiser and the contents of the Uhaul. Got all of the Uhaul equipment and the GMC returned on time with no extra charges. This was my Wife's first time towing anything and she did wonderful. However, I COMPLETELY underestimated the stress level and amount of time involved in this trip. This was the most stressful trip of my entire life! Next time we move I believe I'll be calling on a moving service!!!

My parents spent the next four days with us here in Michigan and then took a Greyhound bus back to Georgia on Sunday. I can't thank them enough for their help with all of this. It's a great feeling to open my garage door and see my Buick sitting there. I can't wait to drive her this Summer. Well, that is, if Summer exists here in Michigan! It was in the 60's and 70's the entire time my parents were here. Couple days after they left we got 3-4 inches of snow!! Snow!! In mid-April!! What have we gotten ourselves into up here?? I'm missing that Georgia weather.

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Mr. & Mrs Shadetree,

Glad your moving adventure went well for you and your babies are sitting comfortably in their new home! They sure look happy parked there in that fine garage!

As to a stressful drive, didn't the 'three lane changing without turn signals' here in Michigan prepare you some? Around Detroit there is an expression, 'Drive It Like You Stole It' and they do both.:rolleyes: LOL

April up here...... yes, typically there is a last stand of winter snow before what sometimes is the shortest Spring you'll experience before jumping right into Summer.....(after two years you'll be more knowledgeable about this).

This was my wake up view the day you spoke of after having spent the weekend before working on her in a T shirt.

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And then there is Summer. Ahhhh Summer...... You'll just have to wait and experience the 'Great Lakes Humidity' effect during 90 degree plus temperatures to understand. I'll take layered clothing in minus degree temps versus those hot days! You just can't take enough clothing off to compensate for the heat, especially if you are one of those that has to work outside like me......

Seriously, guess it really is about what you are used to or what you can adjust to.

Looking forward to meeting you, your wife and your cars at some point this summer.:)

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Nice to hear from you Robert. Hope you and Mrs Shadetree are finding some good things to enjoy in Michigan. I know my wife and I have always enjoyed our trips there with the BCA Nationals, except maybe part of the last time we were there and got lost in the North East part of Flint.

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Robert;your rides look great!! The summers in Michigan(spring and fall is nice too) will more than make up for winter.You are living in the heart of auto history!!My buddies go to the Dream Cruise in Detroit,check it out,and the Henry Ford museum.Winter comes you just tuck in your rides and put them to bed for A while and it will give something to look forward to and catch up on some issues with you cars,You and your wife will love it,I have no doubt about it!!! Mark M

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It's slowly warming up here in Michigan. I've been getting in a little bit of work time on the old girl. Mostly little stuff. Fixed an antifreeze leak on the Dynaflow oil cooler, re-positioned my trans. fluid dipstick (had it mounted wrong), and spent a whole day crammed up under the dash.

I had my speedometer rebuilt by a local shop that does nothing BUT speedometers, tachometers, and custom made cables. They did an AWESOME job and had it back to me in less than 24 hours! Their contact info. is below. I highly recommend them. They've been in business since 1953. Check out their website. If you'll remember, my speedometer began making grinding noises and finally went KAPUT. I lubed the shaft but it did not help. The guy at the shop said the magnets had begun to wobble, which in turn scraped the cup in there and eventually broke the solder loose from the pin AND sprung the spring. After seeing the broken parts laid out, that all made sense to me.:D

Anyway, I crawled under the dash simply to put the speedo back in. One thing led to another and I ended up spending all day under there. I found a bunch of fire hazards that I either re-wired or secured. I fixed my headlight switch too. The three-position turn function never did work right. This is the function that controls which dash lights come on. I even found the cut wire (thanks previous owner!:mad:) for my map lights and got them working. First time I've ever seen them operational. Very cool. When it was time to get out of the floor at the end of the day, I was more than a little stove-up. For a minute there I thought I was going to have to just lay there til' my Wife got home! I managed to free myself eventually but not without a serious crick in my neck and an aching back.

I've even managed to take her for a drive a few times recently. Can't wait for the car shows to begin around here. Looking forward to the Michigan DOT doing some more patch work too. These are, without a doubt, the WORST roads I have EVER seen. Think I might have to invest in a front-end rebuild, shock rebuilds, and an alignment soon. Not to mention a spare set of hub caps and rings.

Scott Speedometer Service Corp.

196-198 W. Walton Blvd.

Pontiac, MI 48340

Tel: 248-338-4148

speedoshop@sbcglobal.net

http://scottspeedometer.com/

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Nice to hear from you, Robert. Glad you and the Missus are settling in nicely. That's a nice looking garage you have, and the back door is an excellent thing to have.

As for the roads, well, we here in Toronto like to think that we have the worst roads this side of the third world, but it's of course possible that Michigan has us beat. There's actually a contest run by an Auto Club as to which is the worst road in the city!

Seriously though, between the frost and the snow plows they beat the roads up pretty good, and it was a bad winter.

Nice morning here in Toronto, though cool. Enjoy!

Keith

Edited by Buicknutty (see edit history)
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Hi Robert,

Thanks for the update. I, too, made the mistake of getting under the dash in the 49 and discovered brittle wiring insulation and bare wire (f-i-r-e h-a-z-a-r-d). So, the dash is out and the new harness is coming together on a table. And yes, I had to be very careful with my back and neck!

Re: Michigan roads - Missouri roads are not much better than what you described, and I think winter is a major culprit. Although, I often wonder what the State & local governments' acceptance criteria are for "completed" road work here.

Thanks for the tip to the speedo rebuilder - good to know.

Geoff

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Hey Robert,

Glad you are taking advantage of that fine garage these cool days and getting Lucy ready for this years car season.

As to car shows, I'm not connected to this event but planning to go and you might want to consider it too. Eyes on Design on June 15th held at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford Estate in St Clair Shores. Sounds like a great show and at a historic location.

Something else you might want to consider, that area would be great for a Saturday or Sunday drive going south on Jefferson Ave for you & your wife (and Lucy of course). You are right along Lake St. Clair on a four lane road (not highway), a beautiful view of not only the boats out on the water but the homes are FANTASTIC! This is where some of the auto industry heads and suppliers built homes by the lake. I guarantee you won't be disappointed!

If you might be even more adventurous, continue further south on Jefferson right downtown Detroit (I know... but Sunday day times are really OK) and take Woodward back out your way. From what it used to look like to now is quite a difference. You will go by one of Henry Fords Factory's that some are trying to preserve and would give you and idea where the Woodward Cruise is held. To me that event is better parked and watching the cars go by but getting that spot can be expensive or hard to find without camping out really early.

Anyway, just some suggestions for you.

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Hey welcome to the Mit. Go ahead and start making hub cup leashes for an easy retrieval. Woodward Dream cruise, Flint Back to the bricks, Sloan Auto Fest, Midland Car show, Frankenmuth Autofest, and Billetproof are some of my local big events in late summer.

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Hey Robert!

Sounds like you are just settling in nicely, especially with the roads here! Pretty soon it will be spring and the Michigan State Flower, the Orange Barrel, will be in full bloom all the way to Autum, and even beyond some. Most of the time they pop up along the highway and streets, which seems to be their natural habitat, and where they also get tended to by the many men and women State Flower Gardeners, working along the roadside to ensure they remain where they are. On extremely rare occasions, you will see some of these master gardeners out picking the Orange Barrel, and carting them back for a special MDOT occasion, but this is quite rare. So enjoy the driving here, and if I happen to see Lucy swimming in a lake sized pot hole, I will throw you a tow line and help you get her out!

Enjoy!

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As the weather slowly warms up here in Michigan I'm finally able to spend more and more time in my garage. Feels like I'm waking up after a LOOONG hibernation.

I got my vacuum wiper motor taken out from under the dash and did a homebrewed re-build on it. I really thought that would bring it back to life but no such luck. In the end, I think the rubber edge of the paddle inside the motor is causing the problem. It's dry, cracked, and shrunken and I think this is causing it not to seal properly. Re-build parts are not available so it's on its way to Rob over at wiperman.com. Look for my re-build "how to" in an upcoming Buick Bugle.

As some of you may know, my Wife and I attended our first car show of the year last weekend. Had a great time. Froze our BUTTS off, but had a great time. I got interviewed by a local TV station and Lucy even won an award, the "Pro's Pick" award. There was also an antique festival going on with the car show so I picked up a few more Man-tiques for the garage. Love the "No Money Down" sign. Reminds me of one of my favorite Chuck Berry songs. Had to have it.

Speaking of that car show, I'm currently fabricating something as a direct result of something that happened at that show. My car has the side opening hood which is held up by a relatively small prop arm directly in the center of the firewall. Well, turns out that big old hood acts like a sail in high cross winds! Never had to deal with that in Georgia. I forgot how windy it is up here in the North! The wind promptly caught my hood, lifted it off of the prop arm, and SLAMMED it shut!! No damage was caused, but I had to close the hood for most of the day because I didn't want anyone to get hurt. Under the hood is what I'm most proud of so I'm trying to invent a safety catch that will not allow the hood to be lifted off of the prop arm. Something that can be installed and uninstalled quickly at car shows with no tools needed. I believe I have it figured out. The paint is drying on my creation right now and I'll have pictures later on.

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Edited by shadetree77 (see edit history)
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I had the same issue with my wiper motor last year. I took it back apart several times, trying different lubricants...no luck. The flapper was just too worn out.

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Robert, Just catching up on your progress, and while I may never catch you, following your tips and picks has been immensely helpful.....thank you friend! I'll get my own thread updated shortly, as I spent the day painting what I could of the engine.

Dale in Kentucky

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Adam, I've been told by several people that the flapper/paddle is the part that most often causes the problem. Too bad re-pop's aren't available huh? Hmmmmm.....I've got an idea for a business. Now to find someone that can manufacture those paddles! Lol.:D

Dale, no problem my friend. My pleasure. You'll get there some day. You just gotta' keep plugging away at it little by little. Looking forward to the pictures.

Thanks Matt. It's nice to have a larger space where I can put my Man-tiques on display in a more organized manner. I've been collecting stuff for a few years now and it's nice not to have it all piled up. I think old Linus is on the back burner for a bit. Having reached such a large milestone with Lucy (the milestone being that I can actually DRIVE her now) I think I'm going to take the Summer off and enjoy the car shows. As of right now my plan is to get some heat in my garage and when it's time for Lucy to go back into hibernation I'm going to do some patch work on the floor boards and maybe some other interior work. I'm thinking I might start on Linus next Spring. I knew it would be a while before I was able to work on the Kaiser. I just bought it when I did because I wanted to have it for a future project and the price was right. Until then, he looks mighty fine serving as a piece of garage art.

Here are the pictures of my invention. I'm calling it a "Buick Side-Opening Hood Safety Catch". Rolls right off the tongue doesn't it?:rolleyes::D It has a hook on the upper end that catches the hood latch on the under side of the hood. The other end is threaded. The threaded end goes down through the pin hole in the latch mechanism and pokes out underneath it. All you do is put it through the hole, put the hook in place, and reach under there and screw the large coupling nut on until tight. No tools required and it's quick.

To make it, I took a steel rod I had lying around and modified it a bit. First, I clamped it in a vice to make the bend for the hook. I also had to make a slight bend in the rod to make it run from the open hood down to the latch mechanism. You can see in the pictures that the rod has a bend in it. I used the vice for this as well. With the hook in place on the hood latch, I measured it so that the rod ends right before going out through the pin hole in the latch mechanism. I cut it to length and then measured how much thread I would need. Enough so that it would be comfortable to reach under and screw on the coupling. I cut my thread to length and welded it onto the end of the rod. I finished up with a few coats of semi-gloss black paint so it doesn't look so out of place under there. I tested it by putting it in place and shaking the crap out of the hood. The hood never even came close to lifting off of the stock hood prop. It's quick, easy, requires no tools, and I can throw it in my trunk. Now I can show off my engine compartment at shows with no fear of some little kiddie getting bit by a Buick!

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Edited by shadetree77 (see edit history)
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Nice idea on the hood prop. I'll have to try that if I ever get that far. I was at a show this past weekend with ~500 cars. Not a single one of this vintage Buick. One thing I've wanted to try with the '51 at a show is to open the hood from the other side every hour or so & see if anyone notices...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Got the wiper motor back from Ficken (http://wiperman.com/) and they did an awesome job. I installed it, sprayed some water on the windshield, and hit the switch.....WE HAVE WIPERS!:D They work better than I expected for being vacuum operated.

I developed a problem with my hood a little while back. The hood began SQUEAKING loudly while sitting at idle. I inspected my hood bumpers to find that pretty much all four were toast. Trouble is, nobody reproduces hood bumpers for a '51-'52 Special. All you can get are the ones made by Steele Rubber for Super/Roadmaster which are made much differently. I ordered them anyway to see if I could whip something up. In the end I was able to make my own bumpers by grinding the rubber to the right shape and welding the old bumper plate to the new one. They work perfectly and you can't tell they're not original parts. Best part is, no more squeaky hood at stop lights. Look for a more detailed write up on this in an upcoming Bugle. Or if anyone has any questions about the process feel free to ask here or PM me.

I've been having a BLAST going to all of the shows and historic cruise-ins around here. This place is truly a mecca for car guys. Look for some of my posts over in the Buick General section now and throughout the Summer. I have a feeling I'm going to be putting plenty of pictures up!

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The South still misses you , so don't forget us! Sending my wiper motor off to Fricken tomorrow, thanks to your tip. A very nice man! Quick question.... Going to power wash the engine this weekend. Is it safe to get near the spark plugs? I know to bag the electrical, but there is just no way to dry brush and scrape the engine clean enough for a paint job. Thoughts oh guru buddies?

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Dale, Don't worry. I won't forget. Especially when that cold Northern wind starts blowing again in a few months! You won't be disappointed with Ficken. They did a great job on mine and my wipers work just as they should now.

Agreed. There is just no way to get the motor degreased without the use of water. I left my spark plugs in when I degreased my motor. I tried my best not to hit them DIRECTLY with full pressure. You will get some water pooled around them so it might be a good idea to try and suck that out of there as best you can if you have a wet/dry vacuum. If not, just use lint free cloths and soak it up. If not, it will rust and you'll have to deal with that.

I have some pointers for you when it comes time to paint too. For any open bolt holes that you don't want to get paint into, get some of those foam expanding ear plugs. The kind you roll between your fingers and then when you let go they expand to fit your ear. They work amazingly in bolt holes. Just roll them up and stick them in the bolt holes. They will expand to fill the holes. Now the next tip is kinda' wacky and a tad embarrassing. I posted pictures of the engine with these "installed" back when I painted mine but nobody caught it. Well, if they did maybe they didn't say. Lol. If you plan on removing your spark plugs during painting you can plug the holes with.....tampons. Lol. That's right. If you're not too ashamed to be seen buying them, they work like a charm keeping paint out of the spark plug holes. Now wouldn't THAT make a handy tip for the Bugle?:P:D

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