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1949 Buick Super 4dr restoration project


49_buick_super

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...but seriously, she looks amazing. Hope you get your problems sorted out soon so you can drive her a bit before it gets too nasty outside. Or does it get too nasty in Arizona??

Thanks, Robert. Always a few bugs to sort out at what appears to be the end of a restoration. My intent is to post some drive pictures after we get out on the road.

You asked about it getting nasty in Arizona. I've been reading your thread on winterizing cars. That's some interesting material. Here, we "summerize" our cars. That involves sitting in a comfy chair next to your car inside the garage with a cold, frosty mug of beer in hand, looking outside through the open garage door and repeatedly saying, "It's just to dang hot to go driving." There you go. A summerized car. :cool:

Dan

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Goodguys Southwest Nationals at Westworld in Scottsdale, Saturday, 11/16 -

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We had a great time at the Goodguys National today. The building here is where the Barrett Jackson Scottsdale auction is held every year in January.

There was a lot of interest in the Buick. Most of the cars at an event like this are modified or rods so a car restored to original stands out. The Chevy next to my car belongs to the president of the Valley of the Sun BCA chapter club, but I'm not gonna show it here cuz it ain't a Buick. ;)

Dan

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Oh. Em. Gee. This car is just spectacular. Truly better than new and I mean that in the nicest way. I'm so looking forward to seeing it - and its owner - in person, next summer in Portland.

Wow, you can zoom in on these hi-res photos and the workmanship just keeps getting better.

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Thanks, Rob. Appreciate the compliment.

You can see in photo 2 that the front end is riding a bit high. The new springs have caused this effect. We're going to give it a few months to settle on the new suspension components but it is looking like a half to full turn of the coils needs to be removed in the front to bring it to where it should be.

Dan

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I noticed the high stance. Didn't you have an issue with the springs vendor (Eaton I believe)?...

Yes - they sent the wrong front springs at first but they made it right and the springs they returned were correct in every respect: diameter, circumference, height and spacing of the coils, as well as the diameter of the bar. From a visual and mechanical perspective, nothing appears different from factory original. I am left to conclude that something is different in the metallurgy that provides a stronger compression property for these springs than was contemplated by the engineers. I'll let the suspension settle and then make adjustments after the first 1,000 miles on the car.

Dan

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Nice how everything turned out for you Dan. Yeah the lip of the wheel well to the front fenders should ride along with a small over hang to that of the outer shoulder of the tire. The deep inner fenders gave move than enough travel area for the coil and arm strong link shocks in which to travel upon. I might of missed something here, but If the springs that are shown in the photos above are still in the car then this stance is way too high and will never settle more than an inch or so whenever that occurs. I would simply reinstall the old ones back in. Since you no doubt rebuilt the shocks and links what is the worry and it will ride just fine and as important will look correct as well. I grew up in these Buicks as my Dad had many and the fender lip always followed and hugged just at or slightly over the tire tops. Only Fords, Chevys and Studebakers rode this high. Not Cadillacs and Buicks.

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... I would simply reinstall the old ones back in. Since you no doubt rebuilt the shocks and links what is the worry and it will ride just fine and as important will look correct as well...

You are reading our minds. The old springs are going back in sometime in the next two weeks. We really didn't expect it to settle much at all. More the reality of the wait is trying to shake the bugs out of it, if any, so they can all be handled at the time the springs are replaced. It do look weird at the moment.

But on that note, a strongly worded letter to Eaton Spring will follow. :)

Dan

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This issue you have with the springs make me wonder about the ones I installed in my '56 last winter. It sits a low in the rear, considering all new springs and shocks, etc, all the way around. I now wonder if the ones on my car are wrong, but in the opposite to yours, too low instead of too high.

I bought mine from a reputable dealer, but there can be mistakes made.

I've worked in manufacturing, and sometimes specs that are reasonably close to each other get lumped into the same item(part) as it reduces costs considerably.

Anyway, I still think you've got a lovely car, and they all take a bit of "sorting out" to get everything to how it should be.

Keith

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  • 1 month later...

A bit of time has gone by since my last post. Working a few bugs out of the project. The front springs needed some adjustment to level the front end properly. That has been done. Also, the car has been back to the transmission rebuilder twice for leaks. They seem to have got it right this time as we are nice and dry now. (Yeah, I know, but dry for now.) We've been busy in the short time we've had the car back trying to get some break-in mileage and have some fun at the same time. We've been out to a local 5 and Diner and parked with the regular pack of old dogs while enjoying dinner. We also have attended several Friday night Cruise-Ins and had a great time. Today, we participated in the parade event for the Fiesta Bowl. The parade promoters recruit local cars to kick off the parade with a "pre-parade" caravan along the parade route. Good fun for clubs and solo cruisers, which we were today. Only saw one other Buick there - a 55 station wagon. Here's a few pictures of the event. We arrived earlier than the Studebaker Club and got sandwiched in with their cars. Lot of good looking Studebakers there today.

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Dan

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So what did you end up doing with the springs new ones or did you end up cutting them?...

The front springs were cut enough to lower it to where it should be. In hind sight, the largest problem I had with the restoration of this car was the springs. If you read back in the posts you'll see that the vendor first sent the wrong springs. Then I got the "right" springs and the "right" springs turn out to be too aggressive. This was complicated by the shop when they discarded the original springs before the end of the project. All is well now and I'm satisfied, but it could have been easier in this step.

Dan

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Dupont ChromaPremier Pro B8146F

Dan

.... you will never match an original lacquer or enamel paint with it's great tint, hue and depth of color to that of of a base/clear coat paint scheme system. The base/clear will always look like a hospital floor wrapped in saran wrap with a shallow flat tone, lack of depth and no matching hue. But hey, it will be shinny ... :)

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.... you will never match an original lacquer or enamel paint with it's great tint, hue and depth of color to that of of a base/clear coat paint scheme system. The base/clear will always look like a hospital floor wrapped in saran wrap with a shallow flat tone, lack of depth and no matching hue. But hey, it will be shinny ... :)

:)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was at the airport today and took a picture of the Buick in front of a Beech V-35. The V-35 was first offered to General Aviation in 1947 and Beechcraft still builds this airframe today. It is the longest running airframe production. My friend and I both believe the airplane in the picture is an early 1950's production. I thought it was a good picture with a car and plane that are about the same age. The Buick is running well. I've got a little over 500 miles on it as of today so I'll be doing the first oil change.

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Dan

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had the privilege of participating in the City of Phoenix "Motoring Through Time" car show yesterday in Heritage Square. My space was between two beautiful cars - a 1950 Hudson and a 1948 Cadillac limousine. The Hudson has been driven within 46 of the 48 mainland states and has also been on one coast-to-coast trip. The Cadillac was a recent acquisition of its owner. I had a great time at this event. Every car has a story. I also saw a gorgeous 1929 Buick Coupe. I posted some pictures of that car in the AACA General area.

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The event is held annually in a several-block area in downtown Phoenix in which commercial and residential structures have been preserved from the late 1800's and early 1900's. The event was well-attended and there were a lot of beautiful cars.

I've posted a lot more pictures of cars at the event here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/116141073@N04/sets/72157640426702144/

Dan

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  • 3 months later...

During the restoration, some of my friends encouraged me to drive the car and not worry about the resulting wear and tear. My position throughout was that the car was being restored to be driven. Here's a bit of proof.

We just finished the longest road trip with the Buick since we finished the restoration. From May 2 to May 5, we participated in the 27th Annual Route 66 Fun Run which starts in Seligman, AZ on Old Route 66 and travels all the way to the Arizona/California border at the Colorado River on what is described as the longest remaining original segment of Route 66. My mileage figures the run distance to be around 138 miles worth of Route 66 roadway. The driveway-to-driveway miles were 583.

This event is just packed with fun. I'm conservatively estimating that 2000 cars participated in the Fun Run and there were 870 cars that participated in the Car Show that happened in Kingman at the midpoint on Saturday. We participated in the show and were stunned and honored when we won not only Best Buick in the Fun Run but also Best of Show. Wow. My wife and I were speechless.

This event just finished its 27th year and everyone says it gets better each passing year. There was a group of 14 French tourists who came here just for the Fun Run and spoke of the popularity of Route 66 in Europe. We also saw cars from Virginia, British Columbia and South Dakota. This post is sharing some of our adventures with our Buick, but I would encourage all of you to come on out west during the first week in May and enjoy this spectacular car event and get some kicks on Route 66.

Here's some pictures.

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Dan

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Awesome!!! First week of May? Where were the hotels? Was that something you had to book privately ? Is the Fun run set up so everyone proceeds at their own pace? Or is it like a tour? Looks like a grand time.

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Awesome!!! First week of May? Where were the hotels? Was that something you had to book privately ? Is the Fun run set up so everyone proceeds at their own pace? Or is it like a tour? Looks like a grand time.

John, it is a full weekend of go-at-your-own-pace fun. There is a formal kickoff to the run in Seligman but cars string out their starting times over the whole morning. You just take it all in at your own pace. The lodging at the mid-point is in Kingman but plenty of folks stay in Flagstaff and Williams, then head into Seligman for the start of the run. The car show is in Kingman on Saturday. Final get-together is in Topock-Golden Shores on the Arizona/California border.

Here's the link to the sponsor, the Arizona Route 66 Association: http://www.azrt66.com/

Here is a link to a YouTube video I made. Ride along with us as we cruise from Kingman to Oatman over Sitgreaves Pass.

http://youtu.be/KD6dpgighao

Dan

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