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My 1954 Buick Special


MCHinson

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Well, I still need to re-install the defroster valve when it gets back, and I still need to get the radio issue resolved, but today I installed the radio antenna, topped off the transmission fluid, and drove the car to lunch and to one of my local non-ethanol fuel suppliers and filled it up. It is running good.

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On Thursday night, I drove the 1954 Buick to my local Cape Fear Chapter, NC Region AACA meeting. I got a lot of nice comments on the car. After the meeting, I picked up a pair of new front shocks and a pair of front anti-sway bar links from my local O'Reilly Auto Parts. Today I traveled to the Charlotte Autofair. I picked up a set of 2 1/2 inch wide white wall bias ply tires from Coker Tires. Now I have some parts so I can do some more work on the Buick.

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I installed the new front anti-sway bar links on Saturday. Today I installed the new front shocks and had the new tires installed. It drives much better with this work done.

Here is how the car looks with the new tires.

post-47089-143142202666_thumb.jpg

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And now it sounds great too! Although we could not schedule a good time for us to get together in person, Wndsofchnge06 went out of his way to meet a friend of mine on Saturday at the Charlotte Autofair to exchange the first radio that I got from him with another that he had tested to confirm that it worked. After dinner tonight, I picked up the radio from my friend and went home and installed it. It sounds great. I am getting a lot of items marked off of the "to do list".

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Today, the mailman delivered the rebuilt defroster valve. Reinstalling the valve took a couple of hours. It would have been easier to install the defroster hardware before the radio, so I got to remove and reinstall the radio as part of the defroster job. I also installed a recently purchased reproduction glove box liner as the original cardboard glove box liner was about to fall apart. The defroster valve works perfectly and it is nice to have it all back together without any leaks.

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I completed one other small job this afternoon. I removed the neutral safety/backup light switch and re-engineered a small threaded rod to replace the broken piece of the switch that connects to the shifter linkage. After taking it apart, I was able to drill into the switch piece where the rod was broken off and screw a large machine screw into it and then cut the head of the screw off. Even though the rod broke off of the switch assembly some time before I bought the car, the quality of the switch was clearly very good. The sliding portion of the switch contains 4 small ball bearings to make it slide easily. If you ever have to take one of these switches apart, be careful where you disassemble it so you don't lose the small ball bearings. I replaced the backup light bulbs, installed a new fuse, connected and adjusted the switch and now the neutral safety switch and backup lights work. I still plan to get another neutral safety/back up light switch but this one is working for now.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yesterday, I drove the car about 125 miles from home to Fuquay-Varina NC for the Buzzard's Breath Region, 3rd Annual All Buzzy Tour. Today I drove a little bit over 100 miles. Two more days of driving planned followed by the trip home. The car is running fine. It is a joy to drive. If you have not tried AACA Touring, it is some of the best fun in the hobby!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had previously noticed that the tailpipe was not original and it was positioned so that on hard bumps there was a bit of noise as the shock arm made contact with the tailpipe. Yesterday, I took it to a local muffler shop and had them replace the tailpipe with one bent to the original specifications. That eliminated that minor irritant. I also decided to order a new set of rear shock links because the rubber on the original shock links is in very poor condition.

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  • 10 months later...

Over the time since last November, I have continued making minor improvements to this car. I never did anything major enough that I thought I should update this discussion but now I figure I should post something else.

The first collector car that I attempted to purchase was a 1937 Buick Sedan. I was in my early 20's and would not have known what to do with it if I had been able to buy it. The owner of that car would not discuss selling it at any price. That car spent many years in the same back lot rusting away to almost nothing the last time I saw it.

I have always said that one day I would buy a 1937 Buick. I have just managed to arrange to buy a 1937 Buick Century Model 61 Sedan. Something needs to go. This 1954 Special is now at a friend's used car dealership for sale. If anyone here is interested please contact me. Selling the 1954 would make it much easier to fit my collector cars in the garage and would also help pay for part of the 1937 Century purchase.

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Hopefully I will make another Buick lover happy by selling it. I am sure that Mr Earl will forgive me. I have posted an ad for it here:

http://forums.aaca.org/f117/1954-buick-special-41d-four-door-379875.html

Hopefully I will get some better photos in the next few days. Since it is at my friend's dealership right now, so it may take me a little bit of time to get better photos up.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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