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1952 Buick Super Straight 8 - Know nothing and just getting started!


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Thought I'd chime in..... my (Canadian) 2 cents worth.

I like what Jay has shown with Firstborn's suggestion!

My experience with paint/patina has been with an old car trunk. I started out just trying to polish the nickle plated hinges, clasps and corners which soon led to the faded/scratched paint. Using some 000 fine steel wool with metal polish resulted in this.

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I know, it's not a Buick, but thought it might support what some time (albeit a lot) and effort might show.

Guess it all depends on what you want as a finished result.

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Ok, regarding the heater hoses, the prior owner simply left all of the old hoses connected, an routed the radiator only to the engine. Sooo, I've got heater hose, oil cooler hose (I think) and defroster hose(can't figure out) all just hanging loose. I will call the prior owner to make sure this was a short cut, and not because the heater core leaks or something. The heater and oil cooler have two ports, but how do you know which is in or out? With them all cut, I'm worried I'll go in the wrong direction. Plus, I see a hose going into the firewall which I guess is the defroster, but can't figure out where it goes inside the dash. Do I take out the glovebox?

Dale

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Dale, I posted some diagrams to try and help here: http://forums.aaca.org/showthread.php?t=363388&p=1240761#post1240761. In answer to your question about the defroster hoses going into the firewall, they don't actually go IN to the firewall. There should be two nipples coming out through the firewall right there. The nipples are part of the heater control/Ranco valve. None of the heater hoses actually go into the passenger compartment so you shouldn't have to do anything under the dash. The Ranco valves are pretty notorious for sticking and/or leaking so keep that in mind. Mine doesn't leak yet, but it is stuck. If you wish to reach the Ranco valve for any reason, then you will have to access it from under the dash.

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Robert,

I can't begin to thank you for the picture and guides. Without ever having seen them hooked up, I just couldn't get it visualized. Now I just need a few non-freezing days and I can get these hoses on! Thanks again and I owe the forum a few pictures shortly.

Dale

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Thanks to Shadetree and Buicknutty (and all you guys), I got the hoses on, and radiator fluid circulated into the engine block 1 day before Winter Storm Cleon dumped 1/2 inch of ice and at the moment 4 inches of snow on us! So going to work on inside the house stuff until warm weather returns. Current job is to replace what I THINK is the solenoid relay switch. Finding a description and a picture at the same time is tough, and when you don't know what you're doing, confusing! I"ve posted a picture of what I need to replace, so without a part number, if anybody knows who would carry the right replacement part...send a link? I think O'Reilly can order me one from the Borg Warner catalogue, but hoping to find a Delco Remi 6 Volt that's right.

post-95021-143142304678_thumb.jpg

post-95021-143142304675_thumb.jpg

Edited by Dale's Buick (see edit history)
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B, Thanks! I may try to call them next week, but I've spent about 4 hours combing every site on the internet I can, and have yet to find a vendor carrying that part. O'Reilly's said they have a Borg Warner catalogue locally, and I have high hopes there. Also there's a local electric store here that may be able to rebuild it. I'll keep hunting, and thanks for the tip!

Dale

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Thanks to Shadetree and Buicknutty (and all you guys)' date=' I got the hoses on, and radiator fluid circulated into the engine block 1 day before Winter Storm Cleon dumped 1/2 inch of ice and at the moment 4 inches of snow on us! So going to work on inside the house stuff until warm weather returns. Current job is to replace what I THINK is the solenoid relay switch. Finding a description and a picture at the same time is tough, and when you don't know what you're doing, confusing! I"ve posted a picture of what I need to replace, so without a part number, if anybody knows who would carry the right replacement part...send a link? I think O'Reilly can order me one from the Borg Warner catalogue, but hoping to find a Delco Remi 6 Volt that's right.

[ATTACH=CONFIG']225889[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]225890[/ATTACH]

A new one would be best.

Before new ones were available for my 55's I could get them to perform as intended unless completely dead: file the contacts with a point file; there will usually be excessive resistance between the lower contact and the terminal shown over your thumb...replace rivets or sometime just hitting the edge of the rivet with a center punch.

A new one would be best.

Willie

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  • 2 weeks later...

I won't tell everyone the deal I found by accident to replace that relay, but the tractor implement store didn't "know" it was a $250 collectible! We're running, the wheels are on, and days away from trying a maiden drive. I think I'll try to get the defroster element out and fixed, as the radiator fluid is leaking in under the dashboard, while I'm waiting for the carb rebuild to get back to me. Pictures are coming, but I am so slow....not much different. Question? There is a 51 special parts car on ebay-and a windshield and passenger side window are my next projects while we tune up the engine. Are the windshields interchangible within a given year? I'm not finding much online help on glass replacement, so time to ask my mentors again! Loving all the 51-53 threads...you guys are great!

Dale's Buick

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  • 2 weeks later...

post-95021-143142327644_thumb.pngOK, here's what I've got...(except I should have moved the defroster control out of the way!). I've been hunting for the color codes that has this combination for hours, and can't seem to find a 22-51 combination. The car "looks" to be a turquoise with a black roof....but not finding that combination either. I've seen some other threads that found the specifics, so thought I'd hit my buddies up here to avail of all your wisdom! I'm a long way off from painting anything, but it's 24 outside, so research is what I'm stuck with until my defroster core and carb come back! Thanks guys!

Dale's Buick

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The trim number is the code for your interior trim. Parts manual shows code 51 as being "dark grey cloth-light grey bolster". The paint code of 22 indicates an "Imperial Blue" upper body, "Surf Blue" lower body, and "Surf Blue" rims with a "French White" pinstripe on them. It was an option to get "Apache Red" wheels. If your top is black, it looks like your car was at least partially painted at some point. Are you sure that isn't a really dark blue up there? Imperial Blue appears to have been a very dark blue. To the point of almost looking black on my computer screen. The color on the bottom of your car looks correct when compared to a Surf Blue paint chip.

Edited by shadetree77 (see edit history)
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Robert,

That helps hugely! The roof may very well be a dark blue....I just assumed black. When you talk about upper and lower body...do you mean roof and body, or two tone on the body? I keep reading that the strip below the curved chrome body is always the same color....so not sure about what upper/lower means. The wheels are red, and the upholstery is a two tone grey, so it sounds like I may have original everything? Also, you said the roof looked almost black on your computer-any chance you have a link that shows this color combination? I'm hunting for Imperial Blue now that you put me on the right track! Thanks my friend,

Dale

The trim number is the code for your interior trim. Parts manual shows code 51 as being "dark grey cloth-light grey bolster". The paint code of 22 indicates an "Imperial Blue" upper body, "Surf Blue" lower body, and "Surf Blue" rims with a "French White" pinstripe on them. It was an option to get "Apache Red" wheels. If your top is black, it looks like your car was at least partially painted at some point. Are you sure that isn't a really dark blue up there? Imperial Blue appears to have been a very dark blue. To the point of almost looking black on my computer screen. The color on the bottom of your car looks correct when compared to a Surf Blue paint chip.
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post-95021-14314233753_thumb.jpgOK, today was the maiden voyage, and we toured the neighborhood! This is my rebuilt carb, and what I assume is Apache Red wheels with a new set of tire. I took some pictures of the rebuilt heater core after I got it back on, but it was a tad too big to load. We haven't put the hood back on yet, as it was just too much fun driving around town with the engine showing! Temp was 44 today, so had to get the antifreeze circulated before we hit the 0 to -2 we're scheduled for tomorrow night! Now that it's drivable, next step is title and licensed, as the lights and horn all suddenly started working. It was a good day, and thanks for everybody's help getting this great car back on the road for the first time in many many years. More pics and info to come....too cold to do anything else but polish chrome and start working on my radio.

Dale's Buick

post-95021-143142337496_thumb.jpg

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OK friends, I need more advice (someday, I sure hope I can know enough to help somebody else!), on fluids and stuff. I'm up and running (thank God!), so want to do a full fluid change out. I'm reading of links and manuals, but you guys DRIVE these cars, so you I trust. For a 1952 Buick Super, can somebody give me the info on the following? Engine Oil, Transmission fluid, Rear Axle Fluid (if ok to change out?), and also the sleeves that connect the vent tubes to the defroster core and the other side? I'm seeing 5' and 5 3/8", and length discussions, but really not sure what to get and where to order it from? I found a radio repair shop, and have a spare radio for parts, so I will be working on that, and beginning some chrome polishing if the weather breaks next week, but hoping to get my fluids changed asap. Thanks in advance for all of your help guys!

Dale's Buick

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Dale, this is what I have been using. Opinions may differ on some things (especially engine oil!) but these have worked for me.

Engine Oil- 30W Shell Rotella

Dynaflow Transmission Oil- Dexron III OR Type A (both will work)

Axle- 80W-90 Gear Oil (yes it can and should be changed)

Shocks- Hydraulic Jack Oil

I got my vent ducts from CARS. I do remember that one side was bigger than the other but I don't remember the exact difference. CARS carries two different sizes sold by the foot I believe. It can be cut to size as needed.

Edited by shadetree77 (see edit history)
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  • 4 weeks later...

Haven't posted in a bit, so I'm due! Made some good progress since my last visit....nothing new to show, but good to report! I got some help from my local mechanic, who grew up with these cars (yes that means my age...lol). I want to do as much work as I can, but I didn't feel any guilt getting a shop to put Beulah up on a lift to change out all the fluids. Transmission, oil, and Rear Differential are all now fresh. Also had my buddy adjust my brakes, which I didn't trust my own knowledge to do. Yesterday, took her out for her first real test drive, and turned a zillion heads driving down the road! I think it was more having the hood off, but I'll take head turning any way I can get it! Only problem was the fluid bubbling out of the radiator cap, which simply turned out to be a bad cap as it wasn't anywhere near hot. New cap, windshield wipers, some engine paint and bulbs on their way now.

Some tune up work on the valve lifters coming, but purring like a kitten! I forget who posted the advise on the orange citrus engine cleaner, but that will be my next series of steps, as I think mechanically we're good for the time being. So beginning a long chrome and stainless cleaning, 60 years of dirt from underneath, and maybe....maybe....some cleaning of the body, although I'm scared of starting that step! Probably have a year before I have to decide on patina or new paint, so I'll worry about that when I get there!

She's in good shape except for showing her age, so are there any pics anybody would like to see, if they are wanting to see an example of what they're working on? Can't thank everyone enough for the pics and tips on heater hoses, brakes, chrome cleaning, that got me this far!

Dale's Buick

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Dale;

Glad to hear that things are going well for you and your car. Also, its' nice to know there are some folks out there able to drive their babies, we have lots of snow and salt here in Toronto, Ontario!

Keep up the good work!

Keith

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OK.....this won't be important.....but doing my best to "do it right" as I can. I ordered some black paint (Old Buicks.com). Is it appropriate to paint the fan blade and radiator? I know the air filter housing and defroster duct can be black, but thought I'd do them all at the same time? Would you use a rust proof primer, or just straight black on the metal? On the wheels, they are Apache Red.....so is there any trick to long term painting, or do I just mask the tires and spray it on?

Dale's Buick

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Yes, the fan and radiator are painted a semi-gloss black. I did mine with rust encapsulating paint (similar to POR-15) so I did not use a primer. But if I was going to use regular paint I would definitely prime first. As for the wheels, I took my tires off the rims to paint so I could clean up all the rust inside and out. I would say that if your rims are in good shape though that might not be necessary. Might be kind of hard to tape around the tire with it fully inflated and seated against the rim. You could end up with an unpainted line around where the tire meets the rim or accidentally get paint on your tires. I would take the tire off of the car and deflate it before taping. Just my opinion though. If you can get the tape around the rims good without doing that, go for it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
OK...made a small dumb mistake today. Took the front brakes apart' date=' got them redone...but what order to you put the rollers and parts back on when you're ready to install the drum cylinder? I could use a youtube right now, but so far no luck. Any suggestions? Pictures/drawings would sure help....lol

Dale[/quote']

google Team Buick, go to reference section for 52 Buick

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Hello all....was just surviving the cold wave, when a week of warm temperatures brought me back to working on my car. Took it out for a drive, and followed the advise of just start trusting it.....when 5 miles down the road....Beulah began spitting out transmission fluid. Having it towed to my friends at my car shop, they looked at the transmission, and pronounced that I was likely going to need a rebuild. So goes life! However-here's where I can use your guidance? The transmission repair shop said they would probably have to pass on it, as they didn't think they could get parts should anything worse than seals were messed up. I have a limited set of options, so if anyone has had this happen, or knows where a good tranny distributor for a 1952 buick super happens to be, I could sure use some help! I hadn't planned on putting what I am afraid is coming into the transmission, so the paint and chrome are probably a lot further off than I had anticipated. All part of the fun here, so while not depressed, I am at a lost on what to do now. Guidance or Buick guru buddies? Thanks!

Dale

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Dale,

Don't condemn the transmission just yet. Did they determine where the fluid was leaking from? Front seal area, rear of trans,dipstick, etc?

First check the vent tube for being plugged. Try slipping a rubber hose over the vent tube and blowing into it. If it is plugged, it may blow fluid.

If the fluid level was overfull or low, it may also spit fluid.

If the fluid cooler or lines were restricted it could overheat and spit fluid. Probably not in 5 miles, but.........

Does it still drive and pull OK?

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I was going to ask the same questions. Torque tube seals aren't bad. There are people that rebuild Dynaflows out there. You would have to remove the transmission and re-install of course, which is not horrible, if you have the room to do it and a good transmission jack.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I'll go with the same thing, more info would help us a lot. Most parts are available from a few sources, depends what you need, but they can be rebuilt.

Matt mentioned the torque ball seal and retainer, if the fluid is coming out of the back of the trans, that's the likely culprit. This has happened to me a few times, over the years, and the nice thing if that's what it is, the trans doesn't have to come out to fix it.

Keith

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Agreeing with the last three posts. so many people jump into a rebuild when it is not needed. Then they get sour on the whole old Buick experience. Chances are someone overfilled the transmission fluid by accident and it was just expanding and reaching it's correct level. And the overflow was probably dripping off the outside of the case in multiple spots. I would try to wipe the trans down with some disposable rags, warm the car up in the driveway for 10 minutes or more, and then take it a short distance and recheck the transmission fluid level before doing anything else.

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Well, I spoke to the friend who made the diagnosis, and it does look like I need the rebuild, but here's what I have at this point, so you can get the update. It was leaking (pumping out) the front of the transmission, all around where it bolts to the engine. The friend who changed the fluids said he took the pan off, and it was full of "stuff", and he said something to the effect that it was the non-metal parts between the blades? He said the metal had some wear too, but not much and that it was usual. The other friend who has been teaching me said he has a buddy who rebuilds his race car transmissions, so I may have a backup plan if my local tranny guru won't give it a try. I've got some studying to do to learn what you actually replace when you do a rebuild, and where I can order the parts, as the local guy says he's worried he can't find some of the parts should he need them. Hoping I get lucky and it's just gasket replacements!

Dale

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Dale;

That could well be the front seal, but give this gentleman a call.

Jim Hughes,

Jim's Dynaflow Service

Perrysburg, OH,

419-874-2393

His name and number have been posted on the forum before. I had an issue with the torque convertor when I had mine apart a year or so ago, and his depth of knowledge about these transmissions is great. So, even if you just discuss your problem with him, he will be able to give you good advice.

Keith

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Dale,

I had a similar problem on my Dynaflow. Maybe cruise through my thread to find it. I even have several Youtube videos detailing some of it. It developed a leak (more of a pour really) coming out of the inside of the bellhousing where the torque converter/pump is located. It was the front pump seal. I seriously considered a rebuild. In the end I decided against it. The transmission seemed to be operating perfectly with the exception of the leak so I decided to get the parts and do it myself. I had never been inside a transmission, let alone a Dynaflow, but I got it done.

I removed the trans. and took apart the torque converter/pump and replaced all of the seals as I went. I even discovered and fixed a problem with my turbine assemblies. Of course, while I had the trans. and rear end out I went ahead and completely cleaned and repainted the ENTIRE underside. One of those instances of once I got started I couldn't stop. I also put a newer style torque ball seal on there and replaced the seal inside the torque tube. Anyway, point being, you may not need a rebuild. If the only issue is that you have a leak coming out of the bellhousing you might only need to replace that seal.

As for the fellow that found that "non-metal stuff", with the exception of the seal material itself, I'm not aware of any non-metal parts in there. My pan had some crusty black bits in it and on the screen in there but that appeared to be decades old, burnt trans. fluid. If there was no metal in there, you're probably good to go. If you have any questions about anything, just let me know. I would be happy to provide more specifics. There should be several pages within my thread detailing what all I went through with the Dynaflow too. Good luck and keep us updated!

Here's a link to where my transmission coverage began on my thread. Scroll down a bit to find where the trouble begins. Hope it helps.

http://forums.aaca.org/f163/1952-special-deluxe-project-315000-14.html

Edited by shadetree77 (see edit history)
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There is "friction material" on the bands and clutches, and this will slowly wear away, and this might be the "non metallic" stuff found on the bottom of the pan. This is pretty normal for a transmission that's seen a fair bit of use.

It can be a tough choice as whether to replace what's worn, or do the whole thing. Most of us have decided to just do the seals, then put it back into service.

If your car has high mileage, then it might be a good idea to do the whole unit, but also think about the use you plan to give it. If all you want to do is to take it local cruises and events, then likely you could avoid a complete rebuild. If you want to do long distance driving, then perhaps a fully rebuilt one might be the way to go, but Jim knows these well and can ask key questions to help to make the choice.

Keith

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  • 3 weeks later...

OK, due to a miscommunication, I need to find out if we did the right thing by mistake...lol. I had my 52 Super at the tranny shop, and finally convinced them to give it a try. Got called yesterday to come get her, as she was all done. I asked how they had gotten the total rebuild done so quickly, and in return got - rebuild? We just fixed your leak! Apparently they replaced the main seal and the seal(s) inside the torque converter. The mechanic said the seals were hard as rocks. That said, since they didn't do a total break down, do I worry about the seals inside the turbine, etc, or just drive her until she leaks somewhere else? It was 1/3 of what I was prepared to pay, and so I can't complain, but just not sure if I should have pushed to open her back up or not.

Second issue-I'm spewing radiator fluid out of the cap once she gets warmed up pretty good. I ordered a replacement cap, but the flanges that lock down are backwards (outward rather than inward), so need to send it back. Is there any other reason it would pressure out the old cap, other than it's just not sealing? I don't know if the thermostat would have anything to do with that or not. Doesn't seem like a big problem, but until I get the windshield wiper motor working, driving when you can't see through the radiator fluid seems like a dumb move....lol.

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