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1930 Buick Buick Club Roadster first time owner questions


Guest mdroll

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Guest mdroll

This weekend I took ownership of a 1930 Buick Club Roadster, it was restored about 20-30 years ago. The car belonged to my wife's Great Grandfather who restored it, after his passing it was will to my wife's grandmother. My wife's grandfather is not a car guy by any means and knew nothing about the vehicle (not even how to start the thing). Since this is my first classic car i have owned much less a pre-war vehicle, What do I need to know???

what I do know:

1. car was restored 20-30 years ago.

2. ID badge is missing.

3. 1930 buick.

4. 28K original miles.

5. last time is was started is unknown.

6. Battery is dead.

7. some fuel was left in the tank. (it will be removed by the end of today)

What I DON'T know:

1. Everything!!!!!!:confused: LOL

Any help would be great

here is a picture I took last night after taking her off the trailer, she is very dusty but the paint underneath still shines. We pulled it from Wilmar MN to Houston TX over the weekend.

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this one is her on the trailer before the trip.

post-94897-143141977466_thumb.jpg

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That is one heck of a fine gift to receive. I would assume that you are missing the data plate on the passenger side of the firewall so the first thing you would probably want to do is identify what model you have. Quickest way to do that is to open the hood, look at the drivers side of the engine where you may or may not see a water coolant pipe with 4 ports that attach to the upper drivers side of the head. Post a picture of that area of your engine if unsure what to look for. If that pipe exists count them to insure there are not more than four. If more than four you have a 1931 model which externally looks almost exactly the same as the 1930. A 1931 Buick can usually be identified from the outside by the bumperettes which are different from the 1930 but yours are missing/non-stock so we can't tell from that. In all likelihood it is a 1930 and the presence or absence of the water coolant pipe will tell us what series of roadster you have. Resist all attempts to start the car at this point if you have not done so yet.

Thanks,

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Guest mdroll
Resist all attempts to start the car at this point if you have not done so yet.

I have not tried to start the car, yet. there is fuel still in the tank from who knows how long ago. I could not get a clear answer to when the last time it was stared, but we think it was less than five years ago. I am planning to tackle the fuel system first since it surely has been turned to varnish. On the up side my grandfather did have a stainless steel tank made to replace the original that rusted through.

I'm hoping that this will be a minimal restoration project to get her back on the road. I will deal with the missing/non-stock parts over time (also read "when money is available" ;)).

what do i need to look for/ do before attempting to start??? I spoke with Bill from the 29 buicks club he suggested changing the oil and then flushing that.

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If this were my car and I did not know the last time it was started I would not do so until dropping the oil pan and taking a good look around. You have a rare and expensive piece of machinery there and a little insurance is worth the peace of mind in my opinion. You can get a new oil pan gasket at Bobs Automobilia (easily found with a web search) but as noted previously you will need to determine the series of the car as there were different engines in 1930. You will want to get a reprint (or original) of the "Specifications and Adjustments" manual for 1930 if you do not already have one.

Thanks,

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Welcome to the world of '30 Buick ownership. The first thing that occurred to me is this car has a 6-volt electrical system. Be certain you get the correct type of battery and charger. I agree with not starting it until you have poked around a little. I always cringe when I see a 'barn find' car on TV and the first thing they do is fire it up.

This weekend I took ownership of a 1930 Buick Club Roadster, it was restored about 20-30 years ago. The car belonged to my wife's Great Grandfather who restored it, after his passing it was will to my wife's grandmother. My wife's grandfather is not a car guy by any means and knew nothing about the vehicle (not even how to start the thing). Since this is my first classic car i have owned much less a pre-war vehicle, What do I need to know???

what I do know:

1. car was restored 20-30 years ago.

2. ID badge is missing.

3. 1930 buick.

4. 28K original miles.

5. last time is was started is unknown.

6. Battery is dead.

7. some fuel was left in the tank. (it will be removed by the end of today)

What I DON'T know:

1. Everything!!!!!!:confused: LOL

Any help would be great

here is a picture I took last night after taking her off the trailer, she is very dusty but the paint underneath still shines. We pulled it from Wilmar MN to Houston TX over the weekend.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]200824[/ATTACH]

this one is her on the trailer before the trip.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]200823[/ATTACH]

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Congrats on the new Beautiful Buick and welcome to the pre-war forum!

I second everyone's plea to go slow and resist the urge to turn it over before you have gone through all the steps. Patience now will pay off big time later.

Mark's list is great.

(It would also be good if anyone in the Houston area could visit you for a look) An hour with someone familiar with the car would be very helpful.

You are allowed to sit in it and make believe you are driving!

Don't let anyone fool you. We all do it.

Dwight

Edited by Dwight Romberger (see edit history)
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Guest mdroll

ok here are some photos i took of the engine last night maybe someone here can tell me what to look for.

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It appears to be in good original condition. Along with the list I posted, you should also oil all the moving parts of the throttle linkage, heat valve linkage, door hinges, etc. etc. The linkages for the heat valve system are connected to pot metal arms that will break if not free & lubricated. The same goes for the door hinges. I broke a hinge on my 29 Buick and searched for years to find a good replacement.

The flex tube between the carb heat riser and exhaust valve replaced the original slightly bent tube in your car. Hot exhaust comes directly into the rear of the heat riser where it is mounted to the manifold. Many have blocked this opening with a metal plate and plugged the cross tube because modern gasoline does not require pre-heating. If your car will not start or run correctly, check the steel liner inside the heat riser. They often rust through, allowing exhaust gas into the intake manifold. It is relatively easy to remove the heat riser to inspect and pressure test the liner before trying to start the car.

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The absence of the water tube on your engine helps clarify what you have, since the data plate is missing. Your car is a 1930 Buick Model 44 Sports Roadster. Here are some specs for the car:

Wheelbase: 118 inches

Weight: 3,420 lbs

Engine: I-6 257.5-cid 81-hp

MSRP List Price: $1,310

Produced: 3,639

Going forward when you look to purchase parts for the car be sure to look for parts for a "40 series" often referred to as a "Standard" model. Most parts for the 50 and 60 series cars are not compatible with your car so keep that in mind as you will find many sellers don't make the distinction. You can otherwise end up with a lot of parts that will not fit your car (as I have).

Really great car; nice to have a convertible on warm summer days.

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Guest mdroll

Thank you everybody for all the info!

I will be ordering a new gasket for the oil pan before removing it, unless there is a secret to keeping it intact.

I will definitely be checking the the heat riser. Is there a control for the carb heat? I'm currently getting my pilots license, and the planes have a control to keep the carb from freezing over. ( not to common of a problem here is houston)

I will be posting in the forums with my progress and pictures (and inevitable questions). Our hope when first getting the car was to be able to drive it on the 4th, but that is not going to happen. My Wifes grandfather thought all it needed was a battery... Did i mention he is NOT a car guy? The car mostly seems to be well cared for, but ignored at the same time.

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There is a control for the carb heat. It is on the left side of the dash board. The rod goes behind the carb to the heat riser valve.

Two good things are:

(1) No apparent cracks in the cast iron piece between the carb and the intake manifold. These are very prone to cracking and very difficult to weld.

(2) It also looks like your wiring is new. Someone may have put fuses somewhere when they rewired. You may want to look for them. If it is original, there is a "buzzer" behind the dash that buzzez if there is too much of a current draw.

Although the tire tread looks good, you may want to check the date code (every tire has one). You don't want to be tooling around too much or too fast on 30 year old tires.

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Guest mdroll
There is a control for the carb heat. It is on the left side of the dash board. The rod goes behind the carb to the heat riser valve.

Two good things are:

(1) No apparent cracks in the cast iron piece between the carb and the intake manifold. These are very prone to cracking and very difficult to weld.

(2) It also looks like your wiring is new. Someone may have put fuses somewhere when they rewired. You may want to look for them. If it is original, there is a "buzzer" behind the dash that buzzez if there is too much of a current draw.

Although the tire tread looks good, you may want to check the date code (every tire has one). You don't want to be tooling around too much or too fast on 30 year old tires.

The front tires have no sign of dry rot the rear tires will need to be replaced. The two spare tires are new with the stickers still on them, but i dont know the date codes on any of the tires. Thanks for the tip.

Does anyone know if there is supposed to be a tail pipe coming out of the muffler that extends to the rear of the car? The muffler is located underneath the drivers seat.

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The front tires have no sign of dry rot the rear tires will need to be replaced. The two spare tires are new with the stickers still on them, but i dont know the date codes on any of the tires. Thanks for the tip.

Does anyone know if there is supposed to be a tail pipe coming out of the muffler that extends to the rear of the car? The muffler is located underneath the drivers seat.

Yes there is suppose to be a tailpipe that exits at the rear on the drivers side.

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congrats on this wonderful inheritance! i own the big brother of your car, the model 64 roadster which i drive regularly in NYC (pictured above). your model is a bit more common than the larger 60 series, but is still a rare bird, especially in roadster form. i also love that your car appears in an understated colour scheme without the overdone whitewalls and heavy-handed aftermarket pinstriping. keep it that way for a truly elegant and period-correct presentation!

as other members have stated, your car shares few common parts with the series 50 or 60, so make sure you are very specific when ordering parts.

from my experience, some main points to address particular to your car are:

- heat riser (make sure it isn't leaking and deteriorated inside; there's a metal tube running through it. they can be rebuilt and even bought brand new, refabricated, by bob sheppard in australia. also, make sure all the linkages are connected and functioning)

- marvel carburreter. (have it rebuilt by a pro, it is worth it. don't fool around with the adjustment on it once it's installed. they are incredibly finicky. if the carb is sound, there is no reason to touch it.)

- radiator, thermostatic fins (if car has been sitting, radiator will need to be boiled out, and the thermo fins should open and close for proper temp regulation; also a very neat feature on these cars in lieu of a thermostat.)

- cooling fan: it was designed with a gearing system, not a ball bearing system and needs to be lubricated regularly. check this immediately. usually the gears freeze up or disintegrate after years of being ignored. if they are already compromised, i highly recommend replacing with a retrofitted ball bearing adapter; then you'll never have to think about it again. there is a gent in Pa. that makes them whose contact i can forward.

otherwise, all the common things apply to a car that's been sitting. empty and clean or reline gas tank, drop oil pan, and all the other good advise above from other members.

enjoy, she's a beauty!

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Edited by studebrooklyn (see edit history)
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