49_buick_super

1949 Buick Super 4dr restoration project

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New springs for the 49 Super arrived today. I ordered from Kanter. Shoddy finish, but ok, whatever, I can fix that. I was interested in the box because of some other posts I've read about Kanter Springs. These are shipped from Easton Detroit Spring and are labeled as "Made in U.S.A." Looked at their web site and they claim to have been in business since 1937. It took about two weeks for the springs to get here. A Kanter sales rep called me after I ordered to tell me they ordered them from the factory on customer orders. Free shipping.

EATON Detroit Spring - Leaf and Coil Spring Manufacturer since 1937

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Well, here's a reply to one of my own posts.

My garage just called today to tell me these are not the correct springs. The diameter does not match the OEM springs. Just what I need at this point when the car is ready to go back together. Kanter customer service is one guy who is always on voice mail. The springs were drop shipped to me from Eaton. I guess this will be a study in the quality of customer service from these two organizations.

I bought a lot of the restoration parts for this car ahead of time for two reasons - on time availability during the restoration and pricing. This is the first of my purchases to bite me so far. Time will tell if there are more surprises.

Dan

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Hi Dan,

I have had good luck with Eaton, but that has been dealing directly with them.

Also, strictly speaking diameter of the coil just might be different;

but still yield the correct ride height & spring rate.

Difference in metals used & manufacturing methods could cause the diameter to be different

but still be correct for the car.

Have they actually installed them to check?

I'm sure a call directly to Eaton will clear the matter up.

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Hi Dan,

I have had good luck with Eaton, but that has been dealing directly with them.

Also, strictly speaking diameter of the coil just might be different;

but still yield the correct ride height & spring rate.

Difference in metals used & manufacturing methods could cause the diameter to be different

but still be correct for the car.

Have they actually installed them to check?

I'm sure a call directly to Eaton will clear the matter up.

The customer service guy at Kanter has called my shop and they are communicating; pictures have been sent to Kanter. What you expressed in your post is exactly my worry. I should have done business directly with Eaton. But I'll give this a chance to sort itself out. If Kanter drops the ball, I'll go directly to Eaton but I've got no reason to believe that will happen at this point.

I haven't seen the pictures yet but my shop describes the issue as one of functional difference in coil diameter and length. The smaller diameter of the reproduction spring won't allow proper installation. Also, there is apparently some sort of "hook" or canting at each end of the OEM spring that is missing from one end of the reproduction springs and the shop reports they are necessary for proper installation. I'm only repeating verbal descriptions here and I've yet to see a photo so I can visualize this properly. More details later if they seem worth adding to this narrative, but for now, my car has been gone since July of last year and I'm getting anxious to have it back. I've got all the upholstery done, just waiting to put it all back together and get to driving it again.

"What are ya gonna do?" (with a bow of the head for the late, great James G.)

Dan

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Carrying on some restoration work here over the 4th of July holiday. My focus for a couple of weeks has been the cleaning and restoration of all the door internals. At the outset of my project I was a bit intimidated by what appeared to be the complexity of all the parts in a door (times 4 on my Super) but as the work has progressed, I've become more acquainted with how everything works. I did take a lot of disassembly photos and videos to assist me in the project.

So its been solvents and cleaners, wire wheels and wire brushes, steel wool and picks - all used to remove dirt, grime, old lubricants, old paint and some of my skin in the process of restoring the door workings to a clean and "as new" appearance. The worst rust I found was on the inspect panels. I had them all media blasted and I painted them with Eastwood's Detail Gray. All of my door handles and escutcheons are in great shape, so I buffed them and they look great. The chromed channels that hold the wing windows are also in great shape. I used some 0-0-0-0 steel wool and WD-40 to clean them then polished them with Simichrome paste. Installed the seals from Steele Rubber and they fit perfectly.

Only two of the for springs delivered by Kanter from Eaton proved to be wrong. I've since received a replacement set for the wrong springs. I'll photograph them and compare them in a separate post.

Dan

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Smart to photo B4 taking apart. My first restore I didn't do, and paid a big price.

Looking good,

Dale in Indy

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Springs.

In this photo: the back right spring is the OEM rear spring; the back left spring is the correct replacement rear spring; the forefront spring is the spring Kanter first sent as the rear spring. Hmmm.

Kanter has been very helpful and quick to replace the springs and correct the error.

Dan

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Somehow the letter "F" or "R" wasn't written on their order to Eaton...

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Somehow the letter "F" or "R" wasn't written on their order to Eaton...

Must have been, because when I ordered them from Kanter I had a conversation by telephone with their Orders department and it all seemed pretty clear at the time what was being ordered. But it has all worked out. If I had do-overs, I probably would just go directly to Eaton.

Dan

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Nice idea hanging parts from the clothesline for painting. How are the other painted pieces coming out?

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Here's the progress so far:

The engine has been rebuilt and painted. The distributor (not pictured) has been rebuilt with new bearings and bushing and fitted with an electronic ignition. Transmission is done and ready to be painted and mated to the engine. All four wheels on the ground with most of the suspension parts installed. Brake lines and fuel lines coming up. The wheels came out looking very good with the period-correct BFG bias ply tires. The body goes back on next week just after the engine/transmission are re-installed on the chassis.

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More pictures follow in next post.

Dan

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The body, doors, fenders, and skirts are finished. They've been color sanded and buffed. Here they are being stored until ready for installation in the coming two weeks. You'd have to see this paint in person to appreciate it. I am very pleased with the work as well as the good quality application of the liner in the body. Same liner was applied to the external sides of the fenders.

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Dan

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Dan,

I just reread this thread thinking that you had mentioned it here. Which disc brake conversion did you decide on? It appears you have reused the original wheels, so obviously, the kit had the right bolt pattern.

Looking good!

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Dan,

I just reread this thread thinking that you had mentioned it here. Which disc brake conversion did you decide on? It appears you have reused the original wheels, so obviously, the kit had the right bolt pattern.

Looking good!

Thanks, Mike. Wilwood. Bolted right on and uses the original wheels.

Dan

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good quality application of the liner in the body. Same liner was applied to the external sides of the fenders.

Is the liner a peel-and-stick heat- and sound-insulation sheet? What brand?

Gorgeous colour. Is it a factory shade, Bahama Blue maybe? Does kind of look like you could dive into it.

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Is the liner a peel-and-stick heat- and sound-insulation sheet? What brand?

Gorgeous colour. Is it a factory shade, Bahama Blue maybe? Does kind of look like you could dive into it.

Closest possible match to the original factory color: Allendale Green.

The liner you see in the photos was sprayed on. It will be overlaid with Hush Mat from firewall to trunk.

Dan

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Some pictures from the shop today. The engine and transmission have been mounted and everything is bolted up to the drive train. Lots more to go. The body should be mounted by the end of the week.

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Dan

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Looks GOOD, Dan.

If they would only stay that way.

Ben

Thanks, Ben. I feel that way every time I look at it. Feels good to see it coming back together but there's just a small, nagging voice in there reminding me to look at the shop dust on the frame, which causes me to think about all of the cleaning that it will take to keep it looking clean and purdy after driving it. Part of the fun, I guess. :confused:

Dan

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DAN, it's probably just the lazy angel on my shoulder speaking but I figure eventual deterioration should be welcomed as part of any restoration. The factory only intended some parts to look good in the showroom. What happened to the engine or chassis finish the next week or during the next ten years was of no interest to those who built our cars the first time. By powder-coating and clear-lacquering the bits that were meant to be chipped and greasy, we deny future generations the spectacle of Father Time trying to take all our creations back to the Earth.

Admittedly, my "natural" standard of renovation has earned me an engine bay that "looks pretty good, for its age", even though I had it gleaming 25 years ago. Sad part is, the rest of the car has remained unfinished in the interim. I may never get the pleasure of driving and showing my Buick, with all parts at the same level of relative perfection. When I get the interior done, it'll be obvious that the some of the paint needs some work. When that's fixed, the 30 year-old bumpers are going to look a bit crude because Show Chrome is a term that didn't exist back then. Clearly, I'm never gonna catch up but I'm okay with that. Makes me feel needed.

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Thanks, Ben. I feel that way every time I look at it. Feels good to see it coming back together but there's just a small, nagging voice in there reminding me to look at the shop dust on the frame, which causes me to think about all of the cleaning that it will take to keep it looking clean and purdy after driving it. Part of the fun, I guess. :confused:

Dan

Driving is more fun than purdy!!

Ben

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Back from the shop again, today. More progress.

I'm using a 7-blade fan from an air conditioned 59 Cadillac. It's going to move more air than the OEM 4-blade. (Yes, it will be painted black.)

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Dan

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