Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi, New to the AACA and the forums. I am trying to figure out what to do with my Dad's 25-45. He passed away last year. He has owned the car since the mid 1960's and restored it. It is in running condition, although he was tinkering with the fuel system because of some problem so getting it to run may take a little work. I am an amateur restorer, but my interest is in muscle cars and currently in a 68 vette. Not sure I have the time or interest in the Buick. If Mom decides to sell it, what would be a reasonable value? I don't have a picture right now, but I'll try to get and post some. I realize the value is highly dependent on condition and that condition is impossible to determine without inspection of the car, but a low to high range would be helpful. I can say that the car is in running condition, the body is solid, paint is fair, interior is complete and in good condition, top is in good shape, and the car has good tires. Dad always told me that the shift pattern was different than a standard 3 speed. What is the shift pattern, so if I try to move it out of the shed I won't run it through the shed.

Thanks for your help,

John Brough

Link to post
Share on other sites

John:

Early Buicks had a "reverse H" shift pattern, meaning beginning in neutral, 1st is to the right and back, 2nd is forward and to the left and then forward again (where Reverse would normally be), and 3rd is straight back from 2nd (where 1st would normally be). Reverse is to the right from neutral and forward (where 2nd would normally be).

It is impossible for anyone to guess a value range without first seeing several good quality photos of the car's condition.

Good luck,

Fred

Link to post
Share on other sites

A very common question on this forum is,were do you live?.I´m quite sure there are a lot of people living arond you that can help with a lot of your questions in person, and tell you how to start the engine,with is very importent if you are selling the car,otherwise you will lose a lot.

Leif in Sweden.

Link to post
Share on other sites

John,

I might add - you mentioned the car was in running condition, but not indicated when last run. The car has a different fuel system that what you may be familiar with, and many are having problems with the enthanol additive to modern fuels in the old cars, so starting may be quite a problem. The gas may have some sediment in the tank.

I would encourage that you have someone familiar with this era car help you get it started.

Also, if you get it running and want to take it for a short drive, I would encourage you to tape a diagram of the shift pattern on the dash, as a reminder. It is easy to go back to the familiar. I drove a modern 5 speed car for some time so I still often end up putting my '32 into reverse when I want it in 1st. Not a good experience, but I have not backed into anyone yet. The reverse H is even more challenging.

If your father had any old car friends, I would hope you could enlicit their help. Also, posting a location should be able to get some on-site help from forum members around the country.

John

Edited by jscheib
spelling and addition (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

The car is located near Gettysburg, Pa. I however, live in Southern Maryland, about 2 1/2 hours away. Dad did not have any old car friends, he got into R/C model airplanes in a big way probably 20 years ago and really did not do much with the car other than driving it several times a year. It seemed like anytime he wanted to he could throw a battery in it, hit the starter and it would start without much effort. The engine ran very well. I think it has probably been about 18 months since he had it running. IIRC, he mentioned he was having trouble getting fuel to it. The car retains the original vacuum tank and I know those can be a problem. I don't have great pictures, but here are a few of what I have.

post-90674-14314172046_thumb.jpg

John

post-90674-143141720379_thumb.jpg

post-90674-143141720403_thumb.jpg

post-90674-143141720421_thumb.jpg

post-90674-143141720443_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

John,

I suggest that you disconnect the fuel line at the top of the vacuum tank & use a funnel to fill the tank with enough gasoline to show the car runs and to move it short distances. This will eliminate any problems with bad gas from the fuel tank. The choke on these cars works very well, so after you fill the vacuum tank, adjust the throttle for fast idle with the lever on the steering wheel, pull the choke out all the way and try a start. You typically only need a couple of revs to make it kick. After it kicks, push in the choke and it should start on the next try. These are cold hearted engines that will not run smooth until they warm up. So, you may have to refill the vacuum tank after it warms up enough to drive the car.

Good luck,

Link to post
Share on other sites

broughj:

I am about 30 miles away from Gettysburg in Chambersburg and have a 1925 model 25 with similar mechanical systems. I would like to

look it over for you if you wish. We could set up a date and time when it gets a bit warmer. Went down to 5 degrees last night.Hopefully with unheated storage either the engine and coolant have been drained or antifreeze was added.

PM sent.

Larry

Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember that even if the water is drained, there are a still water left in the engine that will damage the engine,before draining the system you need to put antifreez in it,and then drain it.The same thing needs to be done on all 1920s Buick. If it`s not done that`s why the casting on the exhaust side very often are cracked.It even looks that this 1925-45 has a crack below the exhaust,I think a small part of the side has been cleaned by water steam from the engine cooling system.

Leif in Sweden

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to all for the input. The Buick (and the trucks) has had antifreeze in it for as long as dad has owned it. Not sure when it was last checked, but Dad was pretty good about making sure about making sure it was OK for cold weather since everything was stored in unheated sheds. I don't think the block is cracked, Dad likely would have said something if so. However, there is a spare engine (in parts) and transmission that are supposedly for the Buick, so even if there is some damage I may have the parts to fix it.

Regards,

John

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark is right on about the choke. As soon as it 'barks' reduce the choke or you will flood things. And Leif's comment on retained water and freezing is right on too. Many of these old engines have a 'ring' of rust/sludge at the bottom of the water jacket around the bore. While all the water may drain out, this 'ring' retains the water and can/will freeze.

2F (-17C) temp yesterday morning just south of Flint. (How about a weather report from down under? We could use the warmth!)

I've mentioned this before, but I have other, more modern old cars with 50/50 coolant. I take the old 50/50 out of one of them and put it in the Buick when I put it away for the Winter and put fresh 50/50 in one of the newer cars on a rotational basis so they all get fresh 50/50 every few years and the Buick has a 'donor'. By the end of the touring season, and the water I've added, the Buick needs good 50/50 for the Winter.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

After setting up a date to help get John's fathers Buick going again, Dwight Romberger asked to jump in and help also.

Dwight and I met John at his fathers farm at 9:00 this past saturday morning outside of Aspers Pa. (About a 2hr drive for Dwight and 1 hr for me.) At which time we drove up to the building where it was stored. The Buick had been pushed out from the back wall where it was parked now being accessible on all sides. It appeared to be a solid but neglected older restoration on good tires. John said his dad did most of the work in the late 1960s. The car may not have been run reguarly in 6 years. The car was being worked by John's father prior to his passing about a year ago.

Dwight began trying to free up carb/throttle/choke linkages. Dwight also brought along a "Nurse Tank" in case we had to by-pass the Vacuum tank. I traced out ignition wires from the crumbling switch unit. Which by luck the ignition switch was broken off in the on position. There was a battery disconnect switch to control current. I also lubed up the distributor and starter/generator and linkages as well as removing the valve cover and adding oil on the rocker arm shaft and valve guides. John pulled the plugs and shot some fuel into each cylinder. The 100 Amp charger/starter unit Dwight

brought was a great help in keeping the starter going. Dwight filled the vacuum tank and I began mashing on the starter. Initialy the engine was quite reluctant to keep running. I tried the fuel mixture needle valve to adjust but needed delicate attention of some grips to open. When removed there was obvious gum accumulation, which once cleaned and reset the engine started and ran! Charging at 12Amp and 15 lbs oil pressure. We had it running for about a half hour when we realized that the vacuum tank was pulling old gas from the main tank. Not running very smooth but with a carb rebuild, cleaned and regapped plugs and fresh gas should do much better. The brakes were pretty thin and I adjusted them enough to get about a 1/2 pedal so I could move it back and forth without going thru a wall or across the yard and backing into my S-10.

John and his brother Steve seemed pleased with the outcome. Dwight and I enjoyed resussitating the 1925-45.

Larry

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dwight:

I tried to insert the same video in my post but I am not skilled. Wished I took some pictures of when John's brother Steve got the front end loader and excavated the spare crankcase(broken) and block from where it had sunk into the dirt floor of the shed.

So here are some other photos I took.

Larry

post-79073-143141814656_thumb.jpg

post-79073-143141814637_thumb.jpg

post-79073-143141814645_thumb.jpg

post-79073-14314181465_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Decided to see if i could get the Buick to run today. It took a bit of grinding, but I got it to start. After several minutes of idling,thought I should go for a short drive. It was shorter than I planned. It quit about a quarter mile from home. Seemed like it ran out of fuel. Walked home, got some fuel and filled the vacuum tank. After that it would run, but very poorly. Seemed as though it was very rich and would not clear up. I managed to nurse it home and back into the shed. I think I need to pull the carburator and see if maybe the float is sticking or has a hole in it. Are there gasket kits for the carb available anywhere?

Also, would like to thank Larry and Dwight for their help a couple of weeks ago to get it running after several years of sitting. Could not have done that without their experience and expertise.

John

Link to post
Share on other sites

John,You need to clean the fuel system from the fuel tank to the carb,the carb only have a couple of gaskets easy to made by yourself,you need to clean the vacuum pump as well,only one gasklet on top,you just need to open it up and remove the dust in bottom of the canister,nothing can go wrong.Then you need to be sure that you have vacuum from the engine to the top of the fuel canister,otherwise the fuel line will not work.Clean the filter in the fuel tank too,and be sure that there are no rust hole in the tube from fuel tank to the vacuum canister.

Good Luck John.

Leif in Sweden.

Link to post
Share on other sites

John: I was essentially going to give the same advice as Leif but he beat me to it. As we discussed after we got it running I was surprised that it ran as well as it did with the old gas from the tank. To add to Leif's advice I still would drain the tank as several years of condensation water will be in the bottom of the tank. (Be careful of the drain plug)! Bouncing the car down the drive could have stirred some things up. Also that outboard motor primer bulb your dad put in line with vacuum tank could be leaking. As I remember it was quite stiff. One of the problems I had with the electric fuel pump on my 25 was the rubber hose connections "sucking air". Be patient and call if you have any more problems. Larry

Link to post
Share on other sites

The carb probably has a cork float which may be sort of fuel logged and not very effective at shutting off the gas to the fuel bowl. If your father ever sealed the gas tank it is probably not set up for alcohol fuel and will need to be stripped and resealed with alcohol resistant sealer. Leif is right about the fuel system as a whole. You just need to go ahead and do this as there will be nothing but headaches if you don't.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi John,

I was so pleased to read that you took the Buick out for a drive! Oh, and we forgot to tell you, but we all (including myself) never get home from our first test drive without a dramatic problem. You just didn't know we are sworn to secrecy about it!

One source you want to familiarize yourself with is Bob's Automobilia. You can download a pdf of his catalog from his home page. The pdf is helpful because the search function of his new website has been problematic for some. I would suggest you purchase the 1925-34 Marvel carburator repair manual ($7.00). I like to know how things go back together before I take them apart. Bob has a repair kit for the vacuum tank, but does not appear to have the carburetor gaskets. You might want to call him or check with Olsen's Gaskets. If they don't have it in stock, they can make them for you.

Have fun!

Dwight

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all for the advice and encouragement. Did not have much time on Sunday to do any troubleshooting. After disconnecting the fuel line to the top of the vacuum tank and pumping the primer bulb that Dad had installed (It got very rubbery once it warmed up a little and did seem like it was pumping as it should) I could not get any fuel from the tank. Perhaps it is just empty, or I have a plug somewhere in the system. I filled the vacuum tank with fresh fuel, left the line from the fuel tank disconnected and then could not get it to run without being extremely rich. Lots of black smoke, only several cylinders firing, no power, but I got it to move enough that I got it home. While I have no doubt that the system is likely dirty and needs cleaned, my experience is that generally a dirty fuel system will cause lean problems due to plugging jets. I guess if the dirt prevented the float valve from shutting off, that would make things rich, although I did not see fuel leaking from the carb. So, when I get back I am going to pull the carb and probably the vacuum tank and clean and reseal them. Will get new plugs also. Then I will see if I can get it to run well without connecting the fuel tank. I think I may know someone that has a borescope that I may be able to borrow to look into the tank.

John

Link to post
Share on other sites

John,

I think the primer bulb you are using will definately deteriorate, especially with ethanol in the fuel. So if that happens, it may not leak gas, but will also suck in air making it not as effective. Good luck.

John

Link to post
Share on other sites

John: Another reminder. I adjusted the brakes to give some pedal as it basically had none and some of the lining is paper thin. I was worried about having enough brakes to move it back and forth without going thru a wall or backing into my truck. Remember this before you try to go zipping around the wilds of Aspers Pa! Good Luck and please Keep Safe! Larry

Link to post
Share on other sites
John: Another reminder. I adjusted the brakes to give some pedal as it basically had none and some of the lining is paper thin. I was worried about having enough brakes to move it back and forth without going thru a wall or backing into my truck. Remember this before you try to go zipping around the wilds of Aspers Pa! Good Luck and please Keep Safe! Larry

Larry, I did remember the issue you found with the brakes, so I took it very cautiously. Actually they seemed to work pretty well. Never got going very fast, but coming down that steep hill across from the entrance to Mom's driveway, I was able to get to a full stop pretty easily. However, assuming I get it going well enough to do some more spirited cruising, I'll keep the ability to get it stopped in my mind at all times.

Thanks,

John

Link to post
Share on other sites

John: Another thing to watch for on our 20s cars is the sheet metal sleeve in side the carb to manifold riser. They rust out and get pin holes in them causing the same issues you are having. They can be repaired but need to be machined out and new replacements made. Used to be a stock repair part. I believe a riser is on is E-bay now. Larry

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark Shaw replaced this sleeve/tube on his '24 Buick 'Truck' at the National Meet in Minnesota in 2006. Cut the old one out and had a muffler shop press in a new one all in 100F heat. I got to watch :o)

Agree that this is a high wear (rust) item. 1923 does not have this (we have the two tubes and butterfly valve in the exhaust takedown). Design with this internal 'warming' tube starts in '24. Not sure when it stops.

Typically the tube rusts through with a few small holes at first that cause poor driveability (exhaust gas leaking into intake runner) that you can't correct with carburetor adjustment and it only gets worse. Cars that have been sitting for a long time can have large rust holes in this tube that will make it impossible to start the car.

Most block this pipe off too (after they are in there replacing it) with a plate to eliminate the heat with today's modern fuels.

Those not familiar with this design, think of an 8 inch long 2 inch dia. pipe pressed into the center of the cast intake runner coming up from the carb. with exhaust gas running thru the pipe and air/fuel mixture running around the outside of the pipe getting warmed in the larger diameter cast intake runner. Pre-heating the air/fuel charge in the teens and 20's was required and common due to the low RVP of the fuels back then.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I removed the carb, riser, and vacuum tank to take back to my place to be refurbished. Appears as though I have the 1920's version of EGR, the tube inside the riser has at least one very large rust through hole. The inside of the tube is thickly coated with a hard carbon material, I assume from years of exhaust mixing with the fuel/air. Once I get it cleaned up, will try to figure out how to fix. Was wondering if I made a solid plate to seal off where the riser attaches to the exhaust manifold at the top of the riser and plugged the tube that goes from the riser to the exhaust pipe effectively eliminating any exhaust from entering the riser, could I just leave the perforated tube in place? I know this is not the right way to fix it, but seems like it ought to work, if heating the fuel mixture is no longer necessary. I have a press and heat, so I think I can get the damaged tube out, but from a quick look I can see what appears to be evidence of brazing inside the riser at the carb end. I am afraid of opening a can of worms if I try to replace the tube.

John

Link to post
Share on other sites

John: The only remedy is to get the old tube out. As I said before I suspected as much. So with some patients and carefull work you can remove the tube. From a previous response by Brian this was done at a car show in an afternoon by Mark Shaw. For my 25 I have also made a blocking plate and gasket from the riser to exhaust manifold. And also plugged the round tube in front of the carb. Now runs much better. Gooid Luck : Larry

Link to post
Share on other sites

John,

Your problem with the carburetor heat tube is a common one that occurs over a period of several years in Buick cars including my 30-68. For a discussion of that topic you might wish to refer to the following thread:

http://forums.aaca.org/f165/carburetor-heat-tube-1930-model-68-a-274403.html#post717342

While not specific to your car a lot of what is referred to in that thread is applicable to your situation.

Thanks,

Link to post
Share on other sites

John,

Yes there are two ways to go, either a full repair and replacement tubes are getting harder vto find. And they can also be blocked off. The heat adjustment seems a constant source of problems and as long as you are not reunning in winter and have a strong cranking battery, you ncan likely run well with blanking. I have seen and know of both methods as being successful.

John

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...