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


Dale's Buick

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John,

    I'm in Western Kentucky, so when I get back on my feet, I'm probably going to be limited to a short range of maybe Nashville, or Louisville or St. Louis.   I would have to trailer the car to the show as I don't have the peace of mind to try and drive her that far.  If you're going, take pictures and have fun! 

 

Dale

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 Dale;

 I'm sorry to hear of your health issues, and I'm glad that you are on the mend now. Just a thought, if you are up to it, you could drive modern iron and come to Allentown for the show only, more fun with your car, of course, but to be there is the thing.

 Keith

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  • 2 weeks later...

Need another guidance form my 1952 Buick buddies!   The heater core under the front seat is leaking, and I've found one that is a 1941 Cadillac core that looks like mine.  The seller has said he believes they are interchangeable, but wanted to see if anybody would mind simply measuring the diameter (across from east to west) inside and outside your core?  I know it's cold out there, so ignore me if you just don't want to catch a cold...lol.   I'm not able to get outside to go measure my own at the moment, but will get a buddy to go check it for me if somebody doesn't happen to just know the size.  The one I'm looking at is 13.5 inches outer diameter, and 8.5 inner diameter.   Thoughts oh gurus of all things Buick?

 

Thanks my friends!

 

Dale in Kentucky

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 Dale; 
 Sorry for being so tardy in getting back to you about the heater core. 

 I lifted the front seat cushion this morning and the housing is about 12 1/4 in. wide, with the centre section about 7 3/4 wide. This is with the cover still in place, as it is bolted down from the underneath of the car, but those measurements will be close.

 Hope that this helps.

 Keith

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Keith,

     That sure sounds close enough!  I'll have to see if I need to remove the front seat to get the unit apart, but that will need to wait until it warms up and I can bend over better..lol.  I truly appreciate you going to so much trouble for me sir!   I'll shout back if/when I know if this works or not.  Thanks again!

Dale

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Keith,

     My car mentor helped me (translation he did all the work) and got the housing off the heater unit, and the core is exactly the right size.  Thank you so much for your help on this!   Hoping to have warm weather and get it back together this weekend.  Have a great week and thanks again sir!

 

Dale

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 Glad it worked out for you. I was pretty sure they are all the same size, but as I've said before, my knowledge is incomplete over the many yearrs they made these.

 If you have a special lady to share your Buick with, it will sure keep her feet warm on those cool days!

 Keith

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, the best laid plans......with two not good heater cores (under the front seat), neither one is salvageable.  So that said, is there an aftermarket out there somewhere for something that would fit inside the housing/blower unit?  I had the defroster core rebuilt earlier, so at least there will be some heat should I need it, and could just bypass the underseat core.  Suggestions family?  Was reading Shadetree's discussion of seatbelts, and once all leaks are put to bed (antifreeze system),  it's on to seatbelts and upholstery/carpet.  I want to drive this car.....two years of work and have yet to make it on a drive without having a tow home....lol.   Thanks all!

 

Dale

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To drive it, just bypass the under-seat heater. The '55 that I had was like that - defroster core only, under-seat one bypassed. It's really quite adequate. Remember, the globe has warmed since these cars were built! The '51 that I drive now - I bypassed both cores. Not that I know they're bad, I just didn't want to know!

 

To bypass both, put a cap over the middle water pump outlet, and hoses to/from the trans cooler using the upper & lower pump outlets. You can buy a rubber cap at the local auto parts store & secure it with a worm clamp.

 

If/when you want to re-activate the under-seat core, I wouldn't be surprised if just plain old copper pipe bent in a circle would radiate a good amount of heat, even without fins - if you can't find a good core from somewhere.

 

Here you go - a new one's only $450. I think I'll put on another jacket...

http://classicfordradiator.com/gmroundunderseatheatercore.aspx

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 Wow, seems like a lot for a heater core. I also second Eric's suggestions. It is quite easy to bypass the core itself, and since you will driving it in the warm weather, you probally won't need it anyway. I also agree that it could be fabricated with some careful work. A bit time consuming perhaps, but better than the price for a new one.

 Keith

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am submitting Eric for best idea of the year! Attached is what we designed to replace my two leaking and unrepairable heater cores. Instead of the $450 new element, we built this for about $35 and some good friends. Also it puts out a LOT of heat! We got all the leaks fixed, the heater and defroster cores both work, I just have to hope the heater bypass thingamabob will turn off the flow through both in the summer! Thank you Eric!post-137232-0-32672900-1457392864_thumb.

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 Those are just electric switches, so they just turn off the blower, but not the coolant flow. On the later models(like yours), there is a separate temp control unit, which should shut off the coolant flow, though I cannot remember exactly how is set up on the early 50's cars.

 Keith

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I am submitting Eric for best idea of the year! Attached is what we designed to replace my two leaking and unrepairable heater cores. Instead of the $450 new element, we built this for about $35 and some good friends. Also it puts out a LOT of heat! We got all the leaks fixed, the heater and defroster cores both work, I just have to hope the heater bypass thingamabob will turn off the flow through both in the summer! Thank you Eric!attachicon.gifimage.jpeg

 

 

Great idea to resolve the heater core issue. 

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Once more, turning to the brains of this forum for help!  My heater core is working wonderfully, but the wiring has me stumped.  I have the following wires:  There is a black hot wire that comes from the back seat area, and a wire with a plastic clip coming from the heater motor.....when those two are connected, but blower motor works fine.  I also have another plastic clip'd wire coming from the front seat with no clue what it's for, and a 4th wire that appears to be a simple ground wire.  all end around the heater core, but no clue of how to connect them if at all.   Secondly, the two wires turn the blower motor on......but I am not finding the ability to turn the blower off.  There is a heater nob on the dash below the radio that seems to just turn without actually accomplishing anything.  Is that what would turn the blower on/off?  If so, I'll start hunting to see if I can find what cable may have come undone there. 

 

I have the repair manual, but not able to make any sense out of the wiring for this particular issue, and I need pictures for my poor brain!   Any suggestions friends?  Thank you once again!

Dale

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I didn't even think about that....I'll go check on it shortly and see what happens.  I can manually adjust the core shutoff valve in the firewall I think, so even if the cable is unconnected, I may be able to turn the heat off.  I can also put a cut off switch on the two wires we have....so not dead in the water, but so darned close to this part working after trying for a year, I just get OCD on getting it working as it should!  Thanks for the idea Keith-back in a bit with some more information. 

Dale

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I can't read a blue print either, but here's what I can find on the wiring diagrams.  Again, two of the wires, when connected, makes the fan motor work.  There is a ground which seems to do nothing (back seat cigar lighter?), and another wire with a plastic connector that also doesn't seem to do anything.  I know this is almost impossible to figure out with this poor a description, but it's what I have to this point.  The diagram is too large to attach, but I can maybe send it to anybody that can read one?

Thank you!

Dale

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The heater fan switch rotates in this case, and does not pull out. The defroster switch/knob does pull out to move the air flapper, and it does rotate to switch the defroster fan on/off.

That doesn't help with your wiring question, but if 2 wires connected together makes the fan work, get the other end of those 2 wires to the heater switch, if that switch works.

See about halfway down on this page for descriptions and photos of the actions of each knob:

http://forums.aaca.org/topic/220657-rescue-me-51-41d/?page=4

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The wiring should be rather simple on this. A hot lead should go to your switch. Does your fan switch turn to one side for the low speed, and then the opposite side for the high speed? Then, if your diagram shows three wires to the switch altogether, one goes to one side of the resistor. The other one goes to the other side of the resistor along with a fourth wire which then goes to the fan motor. If your two plastic clipped wires under the seat go together, then the other hot wire is for the cigar lighter, and the ground is from the cigar lighter.  You should not hook the fan to those.  I believe they are live all the time which may result in leaving the blower running by accident.

 

 

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  • 1 year later...

Hello friends....I'm almost back!   Just retired for good, and feeling healthy for the first time in a year and half!   So, will try to get Beulah cranked up and running this coming week.   Just paid too much to finish the upholstery, and I'll be posting pictures of the finished job shortly.   While we finish up getting her running again, I needed some advice on the chrome?  I got enthusiastic on getting my front bumper shining, having been told it was stainless steal.  So after starting with a high grit wet sandpaper, I've worked it down to a fairly smooth but dull surface. Now the prior owner (and my mentor) said, "oh no...the bumpers are chrome".   So....I've now sanded down my chrome bumpers.   Can you polish them back to a shine?   Life goes on, but would love it shiny...lol.   Ideas oh Buick guru's?   Thank's friends@

Dale in Kentucky

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 Nice to hear from you again! Looking forward to seeing the pictures of your new upholstery.

 Your bumper will be a toughie. Chrome plating is very thin,  and I think that your best bet will be to get some buffing compound and try to buff it up to a shine. A power buffer will help as well. Stainless compound would likely be the best to use.

Keith

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On ‎4‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 11:34 PM, Dale's Buick said:

Hello friends....I'm almost back!   Just retired for good, and feeling healthy for the first time in a year and half!   So, will try to get Beulah cranked up and running this coming week.   Just paid too much to finish the upholstery, and I'll be posting pictures of the finished job shortly.   While we finish up getting her running again, I needed some advice on the chrome?  I got enthusiastic on getting my front bumper shining, having been told it was stainless steal.  So after starting with a high grit wet sandpaper, I've worked it down to a fairly smooth but dull surface. Now the prior owner (and my mentor) said, "oh no...the bumpers are chrome".   So....I've now sanded down my chrome bumpers.   Can you polish them back to a shine?   Life goes on, but would love it shiny...lol.   Ideas oh Buick guru's?   Thank's friends@

Dale in Kentucky

 

Congrats on your retirement Dale.  And glad to hear you are feeling good.  Lets focus on those two pieces of good news while you pull the front bumper for replating, before it starts to rust up. ;)

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I was afraid that is what you guys were going to tell me....lol.  Oh well, got time to get it done somewhere down the road!  We did all of the great heater core stuff, so all is great, but I chickened out on using it!  We just rerouted the radiator hoses to bypass the defroster and heater cores, but they're all good for any future owner.  The upholstery just took too long and cost too much to "hope" it never leaked again.  The guys that have kept me company and helped me get to this point all went riding with me, got her up to 60 mph and didn't lose any fluids!!!  Other than getting a new exhaust system put on, seems to only have one issue at this point.  The manifold has exhaust leaking out (ie: smoke).  My mentor/teacher said he was nervous to try and get the bolts out to put a new gasket on it, so thought I'd ask for opnions?  Also, do I need a copper gasket or just the cheaper one?  Both are affordable.   If this works,  I am adding some pics of how she looks today, after sitting at the upholster's for almost a full year.  She's driving again!  Thanks my friends, and back soon!

Dale in Kentucky

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IMG_1844.JPG

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Looking good, Dale!

 

  The exhaust leak is an ongoing problem. From the factory no gasket was used. A mixture of graphite and oil , like a paste, was used\. The bolts wert tightened to a specific torque. The manifold could then move some on expansion.  Most manifolds have warped to the point they will not seal that way .  So gaskets are used.  Get the copper. They last much longer.

 

  Evan Ritter of Trenton, TX has a '37 that he has used, instead of a gasket, high temp HTV, the red stuff. Says it has been on there 17 years with no leaks. Might try that. Cheap enough.

 

  Ben

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hearing you, and going to let the manifold be good enough for now, although I did buy a copper gasket if/when the time is right.  Heading to get an exhaust system on her shortly, and just got a replacement speedometer cable in the mail.  The manual says it runs into the transmission... does that sound right?  Going to crawl under there in a few days, but thought I'd ask my mentors before I mess something up....lol.  Also, got a couple of wires loose near the fuse box.....is there anything easier to understand than the electrical pages in the manual?   I am struggling to make sense of what wire goes where.  Thanks friends!

Dale in Kentucky

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The speedo cable does indeed go into the transmission. It will go into the rear, and I think the on the left side near where the torque ball is. It is a smallish knurled nut. Could be hard to find due to the build of up grease and other crud. It goes through the firewall, so you can trace it down to the trans from there.

 Do you have the complete cable with the housing, or just the inner part?

 Keith

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Got it in, and can't stop smiling!   OK....spent 2 days watching Youtubes on putting SeaFoam into the oil and carb. to clean out the system.  Should I just keep on driving and not trying to make the engine purr "just a little bit more"?    Other than keeping the battery charged up so it doesn't refuse to stop after a drive, I think she's running great!   Guide me guru's!

Dale in Kentucky

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I have not followed along from the beginning but my two cents would be (if you have not already) to get several clear inexpensive inline fuel filters as you are driving her.

I'm at that point like you with having the car off the road for many years and even with draining the tank and rinsing, not sure I really have all the crude out of it and don't wish to have it settle into the carb leaving me stranded somewhere. With these you can see any stuff collecting and easy to change out.

If I missed you doing your gas tank ignore the above. ^_^

 

Otherwise, drive her till what you hear and feel seems normal to you but most importantly, ENJOY THE RIDE! :D

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dei,

     I actually did install a new gas tank at the beginning, as that was the only thing I could figure out to do...lol.   I think I like your advice to just start driving and let things clean naturally as we go.  Thank you for helping out!

Dale in Kentucky

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