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My 1964 Electra Project


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Since I'm new around here I thought I would post to let everyone know what I'm working and if see if anyone had any tips or words of encouragement...or to tell me I got screwed...haha

2 weeks ago I was out driving around and saw this sad looking buick electra parked in someone's yard. It wasn't for sale but it had "assumed the position" so that it might have been for sale or might not have. After about a week I decided to stop and knock on the door. The guy was very nice but the car wasn't currently for sale. He asked me for my name and number and he would think about it and call me back. He calls me back about a week later and says that he's ready to deal.

Here she was as I found her in the guy's yard....she's very sad looking.

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So $1200 dollars later and 75$ for a tow she arrived at my house. Even tho it was 9:45pm on Saturday I wanted to see what she looked like under all that crud. So I busted out the garden hose and some sponges and started scrubbing all of that stuff off.

Almost 2 hours later this is what she looked like.

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The next day I was up early working on the interior, until my dad could swing by and help me with the engine. We were able to determine that the fuel pump had gone bad and we were able to find a replacement locally. So we got her started and could "yard drive"

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The Good:

It starts and you can yard drive it.

The Bad:

The engine sounds great, except for this annoying little tick. It's not a knock but a tick. We changed the oil because it was as thin as water, but my dad says it sounds like a lifter might be stuck in the rear right cylinder. The car doesn't have a single issue starting or idling, but you always hear this tick. I have new Valve cover gaskets ordered so we can take the valves off to see if anything is stuck in there. The guy said the car had been sitting only 9 months BUT the oil filter I took off was discontinued 7 years ago so i tend to believe it was sitting longer than that.

The expected:

Someone messed with the radio at some point and now it's not working.

the courtesy light on the dash and glovebox does not work. The wires are not hot so I think they messed them up trying to fiddle with the radio.

Tires need replaced from sitting

needs a new muffler

front seat needs to have new upholstery

All in all i'm happy with it for $1200 bucks and I plan to take as long as needed to fix it up. It was not bought to be a showcar, i want to drive it!

Does anyone know of any Buick guys around Charlotte NC? I would LOVE for someone to swing by one day to give me some pointers on what i can do to get her fixed up. Especially if I can find out what that tick is.

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Are the Wheel covers bad?

Ah, not really. That is something a lot of us changed back in the distant pass to be an individual. And most ended up with the SAME change. But those [mid '90s??] just don't look right to me. But, hey, if they float your boat, so be it. Still one of my favorite body styles. I had a '66 Electra 225 4 door Hardtop. Probably my favorite all time car.

Ben

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Congrats on the fine car.

I have a 65 Electra Conv that I've been working on for many years and finally got running this summer.

You mentioned that you have a valve cover gasket set, you'll also need a pushrod cover gasket to get access to the lifters. Lifters and pushrods are available from AutoZone special order. Price is good on them too.

Great car.

Thanks for the info.

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Great thanks!

I'll see if i can find those online somewhere.

Great car! Please keep us updated.

Here's a '64 that is wearing the original, correct-style wheelcovers. Click to see a larger image.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]149766[/ATTACH]

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Great car you've found there..........I'm sure you will enjoy it.

If the car has been unused for a long time the sound you are describing seems to me to a lifter problem.

Others here may be better qualified to offer suggestions to remedy the problem but before opening up the engine try some simple things first.

You say that you've put fresh oil in the car which is a start............ using a fresh lot of modern oil may help free up that noisy lifter (if that's what it is) Take it for a lengthy drive if you are able to and see if using the car helps getting fresh clean oil into those lifters......if it still has that tick you could try changing the oil a couple of times after running it to clean out that old oil ..............might do the trick.

Of course if the noise is more of a knock than a tick then you would be best to have a good mechanic check it for you to try to diagnose if it is something more serious.

If it's not a high mile engine those nailheads are super reliable and I'm hoping it's just the lifters.

Those original caps that you found in the trunk are some of the nicest styled caps that Buick used in the 60's (IMO) and boy are they well made and solid. The other option is to find a set of Chrome Road wheels/ Rally wheels. looks like you have at least one in the trunk. they were an option in 64 and really transform the car.............they look very cool..........look at the photo below :cool::cool:

As said before if you want to look for caps or the Chrome Road Wheels then try posting a wanted advert on this forum. Great bunch of people here with the same keen interest in Buicks that you are showing.

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Edited by buick840 (see edit history)
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The wheel in the trunk is a rim that the Previous Owner said he wanted to put on the car but couldn't find the other 3. I don't really know the history of it or what it is.

I only have 2 wheel covers and they're pitted really bad in between the blades, so if I can find 4 better looking ones that would be swell. Until then i'll be rolling with those solid covers :-/

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So here is a good one for you all..to the Mystery Machine!

My Dad and I were discussing last nite over what kinda car the Electra really is.

Here is our issue.

The car is a 4 door hard top electra 225 w/ a Wildcat engine (offically). BUT I've seen it mentioned on these forums that only the convertible came with Fender skirts. And on the wiki it says that the convertible only came with power windows. Both of which I have. The wiki also says that the convertible had leather seats and I have cloth.

My dad says I have what's called a hardtop-convertible, where the chassis could have been a convertible but they put a hardtop on it at the factory, mostly because I have zero-post. I don't think someone attached a top to a convertible after the factory because i have dash controls for the "vanity lights" in the rear of the car.

Since I'm new and have never actually seen another Electra in person I'm not really sure what I have, all the info I can find seems to contradict one another.

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Joseph, in the early '50s, the 2 door version [no center post] was referred to as a" Hard top convertible". By '64 most of us referred to yours simply as 4 door hardtop, as opposed to a 4 door sedan. As to the fender skirt question, I can't say. But the "convertible came only with power windows" is probably correct. But

not "only the convertible" came with power windows.

You have another post asking about A/C. If you are not set on a correct as from the factory car, there are several aftermarket A/Cs available.

Ben

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Thanks for the info!

Are the AC units your referring too the under the dash ones? Have you ever seen one of those or tried to install one? If it's a huge expensive and effort I'm not going to worry about it, I was just curious what was out there.

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I have installed several. The hardest part is the compressor bracket (on an earlier model), but the AC brackets are more readily available for the 401's. IF you plan on showing the car (BCA 400 point), I would go for the factory AC, which seems possible, but difficult. There are a lot of under hood pieces as well as the dash (which is different). My last under dash unit came from Old Air Products and cost under a grand if I recall. While I HAVE installed them before (so factor in my experience), it took me less than two full days including charging. I liked the look of the Old Air unit better, personally, but I have installed Classic Air, and the Vintage Air unit looks nice as well.

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Got some new tires on her today and away we went! To the local ice cream place to get milkshakes.

I got a few honks and thumbs up from random people while driving...that was pretty surreal and neat.

(BTW I love that the dash lights up red to match the interior when the headlights are on)

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on ebay there is a set of hubcaps that look like yours-outer slots with a turbine look silver trishield-that would make them 63s i think.there under ebay 63-65 riviera parts.3 hours ago there were no bids starting at 50.00 4 days 23 hours left.hope you can find listing -seller is jsed4964(4).

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Hey! I am restoring a 1964 as well! I sure wish mine was in as good of shape as your is! Yours sure cleaned up nice.

as for your question about the skirts.... I think all of the Electra came with skirts. The LeSabres and Wildcats didn't.

Mine is a convertible. The only factory option is doesn't have is an Am/FM radio but it did come with a wonderbar radio with a foot button. I know I am going to wish it wasn't fully optioned whn it comes time to re do all the wiring!

Congrat's on the Electra :-)

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Hey! I am restoring a 1964 as well! I sure wish mine was in as good of shape as your is! Yours sure cleaned up nice.

as for your question about the skirts.... I think all of the Electra came with skirts. The LeSabres and Wildcats didn't.

Mine is a convertible. The only factory option is doesn't have is an Am/FM radio but it did come with a wonderbar radio with a foot button. I know I am going to wish it wasn't fully optioned whn it comes time to re do all the wiring!

Congrat's on the Electra :-)

Thanks, and honestly I don't know about the skirts. I have only had the car for about 5 days and the only thing i've done so far is put on a new fuel pump and get it some new tires. The skirts were on it when I got it. But I've heard from a few people and from surfing the net that some of the things on my car did or did not come with electras or different models of electras. I'm honestly not sure what the PO did or did not do.

I know that mine has the AM only radio, no AC but does have power windows and seats (still work great), but it also has the skirts as well. Plus it has bench seats, not bucket.

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Anyone know if you can use one of those generic power antenna kits that you get at NAPA or Autozone to replace a broken power antenna. The motor and switch on the old one work fine it's just the antenna is broken off. I know that once that happens you pretty much have to replace the whole unit. The guys at the local autoparts stores have absolutely no clue what will work on this car or not.

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If she will mount up or a mount can be made to secure the new motor/antenna there is no reason it would not work. 12 volts is 12 volts. Fashion a bracket to secure. Connect the wires correctly and it should work fine.

Cool car. Enjoy!

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