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My 1964 Electra Project


trafalger

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh-boy. This makes my 69 Electra look like a walk in the park!

When I pulled the original heater core out of my 56 I found it was sealed with a non hardening caulk. I bought similar replacement caulk at my local hardware store and used that to see the core in the box ( so air had to flow around the core) and the box to the firewall. I could also layer it where needed to adjust for any box irregularities to make sure we would not get any engine compartment flow through to the interior.

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  • 2 months later...

Hey guys, I've been saving up some fun money and I want to start working on the car for this year.

I really need to take her and get a proper exhaust system put on

I've already got the paint and body work lined up

Still trying to find some rally wheels for it

Still need a power antenna

Seats need redoing

Needs a new heater coil but I think that is well outside my abilities...thought?

Also what should I do about the chrome on the side those thin pieces are pitted to hell and back

Time to start getting it ready :)

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So, you have saved a lot of fun money, and now want to line a mechanic's pocket with it on a car that's running fine? I would say talk to any local Buick guys for a recommendation on your exhaust. Most people put dual exhaust on a classic and most classics have provisions for dual exhaust. That's where I would start.

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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.

Hi Bill, I have recently acquired a 1965 Electra Conv. project. I would like to chat with you about your experience with the "225'. I know little or nothing ,but i just fell in love with the automobile. My e-mail address is velt72@aol.com .

Thanks

DEW

BCA # 42625

East Orange,N.J.

1965 Electra Conv.(project)

1954 Special 2Dr. Rivera

1940 Super 4dr. Sedan (project)

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So, you have saved a lot of fun money, and now want to line a mechanic's pocket with it on a car that's running fine? I would say talk to any local Buick guys for a recommendation on your exhaust. Most people put dual exhaust on a classic and most classics have provisions for dual exhaust. That's where I would start.

I wish I had the setup to put an exhaust on the car and the ability to do a tune up on it. Like you I'd hate to take it to someone and spend crazy money for labor but I really don't have the tools or experience to do that type of work on the car.

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Exhaust is one job I prefer to pay someone to do. A tune-up seems harder the first time than it really is. Minimal tools needed, and tools that you will probably use in the future too. Would you care for some recommendations on what to get and where to get it?

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Question for you all:

When I first start the car for a drive I always wait until the "COLD" light goes off, but it seems that even right after that if I press on the gas it totally chokes out and cuts off. Is that normal for an older car? I've been told that is it but I wanted to check with the experts :)

When you first pull out of the drive way you have to ease (and I mean ease) the gas or it will cut off, once I make it to the stop light at the end of my street it doesn't need to be babied like that anymore (which is why I'm assuming that it's just cold)

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This is common, and is a result of imbalance in the Automatic Choke setting. Chances are you will never get rid of that issue by trying to adjust the choke. Not that it's impossible, but that it is just difficult. If you wanted to try, then I would recommend adjusting the choke as per your manual then one step at a time, towards the lean side for the winter.

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If I may ask, what EFE devices, if any, does this automobile have? EFE is early fuel evaporation. In short, carbs are designed to take liquid gas and mix air/fuel into a vapor. 14:1 for best emissions. However, cold carbs and engines make things difficult of the carb to do it's job. When vaporized gas hits cool air it will return back to a liquid. Engines stumble or stall. The liquid can not burn. Gas in vapor form burns. The engineers designed items that would heat the air entering the carb during cold running to keep gas in the vapor form. In the early days it was mostly a hand pulled choke. You drive when the engine is warm. Later on the added a hot air tube off the manifold to the air cleaner. There is a flap that closes on a thermostatic switch when correct heat was reached. There is carb heater grids. These all helped with running cold until hot. I see you have a light indicating the engine is "COLD" and drive-ability is probably going to be a issue until warm. Is there any other EFE device such as a hot air tube off the exhaust manifold? Is the choke set up correctly? You assumptions sound correct, she is still cold. Gas is turning from vapor back to a liquid as it hits the cool air. The car stumbles or stalls. Check you manual for other devices that assist with cold running drive-ability.

I can not tell you how many guys buy a Edlebrock air cleaner all chrome and shiny when installed ruin cold drive-ability. The process of removing the old air cleaner with the EFE devices the engine does not run well when cold.

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It can cause fouled spark plugs. That will impact driveability and make for harder starting. What you can do to get around it is check the fast idle speed in your manual. Using the Rochester 4 bbl in my 56 as a comparrison, the fast idle when cold should be 1,700 RPM. When warmed up thoroughly the engine idle is 450 RPM. Thats quite a difference. The point being you want to warm the engine at a higher RPM because the force of the air flowing over the choke butterfly holds it open, preventing this flooding situation. Once warmed thoroughly the choke should be completely out of play and any further troubles are not related to it's operation.

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If I may ask, what EFE devices, if any, does this automobile have? EFE is early fuel evaporation. In short, carbs are designed to take liquid gas and mix air/fuel into a vapor. 14:1 for best emissions. However, cold carbs and engines make things difficult of the carb to do it's job. When vaporized gas hits cool air it will return back to a liquid. Engines stumble or stall. The liquid can not burn. Gas in vapor form burns. The engineers designed items that would heat the air entering the carb during cold running to keep gas in the vapor form. In the early days it was mostly a hand pulled choke. You drive when the engine is warm. Later on the added a hot air tube off the manifold to the air cleaner. There is a flap that closes on a thermostatic switch when correct heat was reached. There is carb heater grids. These all helped with running cold until hot. I see you have a light indicating the engine is "COLD" and drive-ability is probably going to be a issue until warm. Is there any other EFE device such as a hot air tube off the exhaust manifold? Is the choke set up correctly? You assumptions sound correct, she is still cold. Gas is turning from vapor back to a liquid as it hits the cool air. The car stumbles or stalls. Check you manual for other devices that assist with cold running drive-ability.

I can not tell you how many guys buy a Edlebrock air cleaner all chrome and shiny when installed ruin cold drive-ability. The process of removing the old air cleaner with the EFE devices the engine does not run well when cold.

I didn't understand a word of what you just asked..lol

Also does anyone have the manual for this car. The manual I have downloaded starts at section 8 which does not include anything about the engine or idle or choke settings.

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It can cause fouled spark plugs. That will impact driveability and make for harder starting. What you can do to get around it is check the fast idle speed in your manual. Using the Rochester 4 bbl in my 56 as a comparrison, the fast idle when cold should be 1,700 RPM. When warmed up thoroughly the engine idle is 450 RPM. Thats quite a difference. The point being you want to warm the engine at a higher RPM because the force of the air flowing over the choke butterfly holds it open, preventing this flooding situation. Once warmed thoroughly the choke should be completely out of play and any further troubles are not related to it's operation.

Do you happen to know where the fast idle is on my car or where to set it at? The manual i have doesn't include that section.

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I am not aware of the recommended settings. If you have a factory manual look under the carb section for the fast idle stat, and then the ignition timing section for the hot idle setting. Thats where I found mine. Then if you have the Rochester 4 bbl I would recommend the following while the car is off:

when the engine is cold, remove the air cleaner and push the throttle rod back towards the firewall once, while observing the choke linkage on the drivers side of the motor. If the choke sprang closed when you pushed the throttle then you should have seen where the linkage lifted a flat piece of metal with some steps cut into it. This is the fast idle cam, and there is a screw on the carb throttle linkage that should be hitting the lowest level step of that cam. That would be your fast idle screw. If you have a different carb I do not know for a fact where you find this setup but I am sure you will find a similar set up on one of the two sides. Do you have a way to check the RPM before changing the setting?

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In the interest of following up, I'd like to share four photos. Note that these are of the Rochester Carb on my 56. Your car should have either a Rochester carb which looks similar to this, or a Carter which is visibly different. In either case the parts I will describe exist on your carb. They just may not be in the exact same location. So let me start by showing you the choke stove:

tn_img_4039.jpg

The Choke stove will be on the passengers side of your carb no matter which one you have. It is adjusted by loosening the three screws ( not removing them) and then turning the plate one way or the other. Your plate should have an indication on it of lean vs rich.

Next I'll show you the Idle cam rod. This is the rod that is activated by the Choke stove on the other side of my carb. This could be on either you passengers side or drivers side. For reference only this is the drivers side of my carb.

tn_fast_idle_cam_rod.jpg

Next is the fast idle cam. Notice the sharp angles on the left side, these are the "steps" I referred to in the earlier post.

tn_fast_idle_cam.jpg

Now here is the fast idle screw.

tn_fast_idle_screw.jpg

And the one behind it is the engine idle screw on my carb.

Again, your factory service manual will give you the steps needed to set the choke to original settings. Then I would recommend making the choke slightly leaner so it will open easier in the colder weather.

Hope this helps.

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I didn't understand a word of what you just asked..lol

Sorry trafalger. Besides the choke for cold start, does the vehicle have anything else to assist with good engine running when cold? Can you post some pictures of your carb? Both sides? With aircleaner on and off?

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Sorry trafalger. Besides the choke for cold start, does the vehicle have anything else to assist with good engine running when cold? Can you post some pictures of your carb? Both sides? With aircleaner on and off?

I have a video earlier in this thread but not a close up picture or a picture with the air cleaner off. I will do that this weekend when I can get outside and "play"

I don't have a shop so i have to wait until it's not raining :)

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Actually this helps alot...i'm going to mess around with it some this weekend. On that first picture where is the choke stove..i don't see the little arrow

I didn't put an arrow on the first picture, but it is the cylindrical part dead center in the picture. It has three little screws around the perimiter and a line connected to the center of the disc that turns.

If you are going to play with it, I recommend you do some preliminary diagnosis before you start the car.

1) read your manual if you have one.

2) remove the air cleaner and then step on the gas pedal only one time

3) see if the choke butterfly valve at the top of the engine is closed. It should be tight enough that you can push it open with your finger and then it should spring back closed again.

4) if the valve closed, then observe which step of the fast idle cam is in contact with the screw.

5) if the fast idle screw is not in contact with any of the steps on the fast idle cam, but the choke butterfly is closed, do not mess with it. Instead come back here and let us know the situation before you try to make any adjustments.

6) Take clear picture of both sides of the carb and post them so we can see if we can help you further.

I say this because at least the car starts now. We don't want to mess with some success when we can't get there to help you directly.

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Hey guys just a quick update. I did all the tests from above found that the value doesn't close all the way, I adjusted the choke stove and now she runs GREAT! I can get in without any hesitation or sluggishness and drive right off without a cut-off.

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If your car idles good but falters when you give it some gas, I'd say that the accelerator pump seal is shot. When you step on the gas, the accelerator pump gives the engine a shot of gas other than what's coming through the circuits. If you don't get that extra shot, you'll bog down. Looking at your upside down pictures, you have a Carter AFB. The accelerator pump is on the top on the linkage side. There's an arm that runs to it. With the car shut off, look down the carb and move the pump arm. If you can't see a shot of gas going into the throat of the carb, it's not working. Chances are if the car sat for a while, that pump seal has dried out and it not working. Pretty easy to replace. I doubt if there's anything to download online, buy yourself a basic set of tools, and a complete chassis manual. You won't regret it.

Ed

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Just giving everyone an update....she has been running GREAT since the little tune up on the carb. Since Saturday was so nice here we decided to drive the car while we went antique looking. We drove about 85 miles and it has never ran stronger.

Today she's in the shop getting a completely new exhaust system put on, so I'm looking forward to that. The guy doing it had a 60s buick so he's putting the exhaust back to factory :)

Also on Friday I had the local stereo guys put a new radio in the car. They did an excellent job, they built out a custom made box for the glove box and mounted it inside the dash, so the stock radio and dash are completely untouched. They also fixed both of my speakers (front and rear). I couldn't have been more happy with the work.

I"m finding out more and more as I do stuff on this car to seek out the local people when having work done on it. The work is alot cheaper and of higher quality.

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  • 1 month later...

Just an update I got the exhaust done and it's good as new. The guy did an excellent job putting the exhaust back to stock.

I've got the rear brakes fixed finally so now I can stop better :)

The only other "biggie" that I have right now is the CV joint is weak. So I gotta figure out how in the hell to fix that. My mechanic doesn't want to touch it so I've got to do that myself.

I need to find a buick guy local and spend a weekend and a pack of beer working on it. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is a good one for you guys...

So after reading my new chassis manual and crawling around all over the car I'm about 90% sure that I've got a problem with the joint in the middle of the drive shaft on my Electra. It make a low deep rumble noise when you accelerate and you can actually feel in the whole car.

It appears my drive shaft is actually two pieces held together by a CV joint, and I think my problem is in that joint....but before I go crazy and try to get this thing out I was curious as how hard it would be to find another one, or if you guys knew if that joint was serviceable.

I've been all over ebay, CL and oldbuickparts.com and I can't find one to compare it too. My chassis manual calls it's a butterfly shaft but to me it's a drive shaft, I think that's why it's so hard to search for because it's got an oddball "official" name.

I got word that the local junkyard has a Wildcat parts car but the lady on the phone doesn't really know what year it is, so gotta go check it out this weekend.

I'm open to all suggestions at this point. I don't think the shaft is bent I just think that joint hasn't been serviced in 50 years and it needs to be replaced.

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Here is a good one for you guys...

So after reading my new chassis manual and crawling around all over the car I'm about 90% sure that I've got a problem with the joint in the middle of the drive shaft on my Electra. It make a low deep rumble noise when you accelerate and you can actually feel in the whole car.

It appears my drive shaft is actually two pieces held together by a CV joint, and I think my problem is in that joint....but before I go crazy and try to get this thing out I was curious as how hard it would be to find another one, or if you guys knew if that joint was serviceable.

I've been all over ebay, CL and oldbuickparts.com and I can't find one to compare it too. My chassis manual calls it's a butterfly shaft but to me it's a drive shaft, I think that's why it's so hard to search for because it's got an oddball "official" name.

I got word that the local junkyard has a Wildcat parts car but the lady on the phone doesn't really know what year it is, so gotta go check it out this weekend.

I'm open to all suggestions at this point. I don't think the shaft is bent I just think that joint hasn't been serviced in 50 years and it needs to be replaced.

Joseph,

I've been there before on my Wildcat. Check out the write up I've got on my website of it: Driveshaft Center Bearing Support.

In a nutshell, any good drive shaft shop can source the parts for you, or you can order the parts at your favorite auto parts store with the number provided on my site. You will have to wait a few days.

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