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'53 Riv saved from the crusher


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I got word of an auto auction last weekend in the local area. Since I am working on my '53 Roadmaster project, I thought the '53 Riv might be a great parts car. It turns out I had to bid against the scrapers to get it. It has alot of the part I need, but is in such good and complete condition, I hate to part it out. All that is missing is the grille.

post-61997-143141730634_thumb.jpg

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I agree, that looks like a Super (3 ventiports, instead of 4) and a two door, no less. My exact car. Very cool - That is a sweet find! I've got a spare grille somewhere from my '53 Super project if you decide to restore this instead of using it for parts. Either way, thank you for keeping this one away from the scrappers!

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I'll post more pixs of the 56R later, just got it home Sat. Nite before the rain and snow began. I miss spoke when I said it just needed the grille for the parts car, it needs front fenders, grille and bumper. BTW, any suggestions on getting into the trunk with out doing damage to the lock? I am hoping there may be something useful in there.

Thanks,

Tim

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I'll post more pixs of the 56R later, just got it home Sat. Nite before the rain and snow began. I miss spoke when I said it just needed the grille for the parts car, it needs front fenders, grille and bumper. BTW, any suggestions on getting into the trunk with out doing damage to the lock? I am hoping there may be something useful in there.

Thanks,

Tim

I would attempt to get to the trunk by removing the back seat sections. Lift up and out on the back pad and then remove the cushion. Should be similar to your Roadmaster (sans the arm rest). On mine there aren't any bolts or screws (that I noticed) holding it down, the two parts just seem to "fit" into the back section almost being bound and held into place by the rear trim panels. There's some hook type things that I think the back pad hangs on. I can't remember if the hooks are on the back pad or on the car itself. Anyways, after the back seat sections are removed, you should be able to see the inside of the trunk at this point. There might be some carboard or fiberboard panelling in the way.

By the way, great call on not destroying the teardrop lock. Luckily my parts car had a fair one, but my project's trunk had been pryed and the lock had been either destroyed and/or lifted. As far as I know they are extremely hard to find. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong and tell me where I can get one :)

Edited by WillBilly53 (see edit history)
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Gosh man, real nice find. To hell with those scrapers. I believe the door, ignition and trunk are all one and the same key. Take the driver's door handle/lock out, go to your friendly locksmith and have him tool cut a key from the numbered cut charts they have. Then go and unlock the trunk. Can we or should we ask what you paid for it?

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Gosh man, real nice find. To hell with those scrapers. I believe the door, ignition and trunk are all one and the same key. Take the driver's door handle/lock out, go to your friendly locksmith and have him tool cut a key from the numbered cut charts they have. Then go and unlock the trunk. Can we or should we ask what you paid for it?

Apparently with what that car weighs, the scrap value is about $650, I had to pay $675 + $70 for the auction company and $50 if I wanted the title.

Not sure if it was smart or not, but where can you find those parts any more. Have not checked to see if the engine is stuck or not but it is all complete down to the washer jar. Gonna try to see if the engine runs when things warm up around here.

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Looked it over today and got the trunk open by taking the rear seat out and climbing through. Good set of spark plug covers, battery cover, brake drum, head lights and buckets, front turn signals headlight covers, one head and old (new) set of head gaskets. I have not seen a battery cover before, if that is what it is.

I then was able to turn the engine over with the fan and belt.

post-61997-143141737334_thumb.jpg

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Apparently with what that car weighs, the scrap value is about $650, I had to pay $675 + $70 for the auction company and $50 if I wanted the title.

Not sure if it was smart or not, but where can you find those parts any more. Have not checked to see if the engine is stuck or not but it is all complete down to the washer jar. Gonna try to see if the engine runs when things warm up around here.

For right now, don't waste any time. Go and take the plugs out and fill completely with marvel mystery oil using an epoxy syringe with a 10 inch 3/16 I.D. or so tube hose attached, you can get at T.A.P. Plastics or any Boat Supply or Hobby Shop. Hand screw plugs back into position and let set. In the meantime, take the radiator, belts, water pump off so you have complete access to the crank pulley nut. Now take the intake manifold off with carb attached. Fill each intake port Completely with Marvel Mystery Oil and cover with shop towels then set intake back on top. Then wait about a week. Come back and repeat filling the plugs up and the intake ports up. Then wait a week. Come back and repeat the refill. Then wait a week. At this point you can attempt to put a long handled ratchet with a 16 inch 1 inch I.D. water pipe over the handle with a 6 point socket on the crank bolt. Now slowly rock on the ratchet by pulling it toward your chest and right shoulder if you are right handed and the other shoulder if left handed. The ratchet will give you the back and forth lever action you need. Do not use a breaker bar. If no luck wait a few days and try again after refilling with MMOil. Then if no luck remove the valve cover a and rocker arms along with the push rods. Then repeat treatment with the ratchet.

This process is slow. Yes. But what you will accomplish is a free engine without ruining, bending, scoring and/or forcefully machining the life out of the engine's rings & bearings.

Do not attempt to try and start the motor like the cowboys do on youtube. When you see with that cowboy approach, is a demonstration of how to ruin a potentially perfectly good engine. Just some of my advice:cool:

Edit: .... oh and put some MMO into a spray bottle. Clean the engine compartment real well with orange blaster and water. Then rinse well and shop air dry. Now spay the MMO onto every nook and cranny inch of the engine compartment. Repeat the next day, Then let rest. In a couple of weeks all of any rust and oxidation will be melted away.

Edited by buick man (see edit history)
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I don't think I've ever seen a factory battery cover. Awesome!

1953 was the first year for the Buick V-8 engine and a 12-volt electrical system in the Super and Roadmaster Series. The battery frame surround and battery top cover plate was a one-year only item for the 12-volt battery in 1953 Buick Supers and Roadmasters. The 1953 Buick Special 40 Series with the Straight Eight engine remained at 6 volts and did not have a battery cover.

Other car makes used similar covers for a short period of time also, i.e. Pontiac, Packard, and ?

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)
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Always a blast to resurrect an old Buick motor!

My 2 cents...

Probably good time to replace a few "consumables" under the hood to enhance the starting

process: fairly cheap but essential ....

- points/plugs, rotor, condenser, cap, coil, plug wires

- pop the regulator cap off and make sure it's not all corroded ( a quick file of the points in there

might help, too) make sure all the right wires to and from it are connected where they need to be

- once the cylinders have been oiled up with the plugs out ... With valve covers OFF, Hand crank the motor carefully to ensure

proper operation of the valve train and rockers; cylinder by cylinder. If it's got a stuck valve you want to find out now before bending a push rod or worse.

If all is well,

- spin it with the plugs out on the

starter, before supplying spark and fuel.

- if all is well .....

- check for spark

- by pass the old fuel pump for now &

- rig up a SAFE source of temporary fuel to the carb

Have fun!

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David, I think he can skip the engine freeing treatment... :)

...ha ha . Hey what the heck. I wrote it before I read the hand turning post he put up. :rolleyes:

O.K. so you guys are not out of the buick man-how-to-do forest just yet. Cause if 1953mack insists on actually starting his newly purchased ride and not just use it as lawn art, you will have to go do a search and read my How-to-do article on bringing a hibernating engine back to life without ruining it in the process. Remember everything is one big gummy bear inside of that engine right now ....Cheers

Edit: Oh and the oil on the dipstick looks good because years of gravity has sent any suspension solute particles to the bottom of the pan along with all of the martian goey silver clay that is there too especially without taking the pan off and getting it out first. Goes for every oil passage, bypass valve etc. - you name it, the gummy gooh is in there!

Edited by buick man (see edit history)
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