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Thanks guys! The screen did catch a small amount of crud out from the engine, but not as much as I thought there might be. I'll run it with water for coolant for a bit to see what else gets strained out, then change it over to real coolant. Also work on the carb mid-range adjustment & maybe see if it will roll under power, though I haven't yet changed out the trans fluid.

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The reason for parking it was claimed to be an exhaust leak. The cracked manifold might explain that, or maybe they had problems due to the leak between the exhaust manifold and head.

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Aired up the tires, put the cotter pins back in the front axle nuts (had pulled those to do the brakes, and for whatever reason, left a piece of tape on the steering wheel - cotter pins before moving). Added some hooks in the garage ceiling in order to tie the hood to the ceiling (it's been sitting on the roof of the car). Started up. Not sure exactly where I started this video - but if the car isn't moving right away, it's because I had the parking brake on. And the driveway is a slope, so rolling down that isn't much of an indication that the car will keep going. Anyway "yard lap". (Yes, it has a plate & insurance.)

http://youtu.be/1HrJcYnrWdA - first drive - around the corner

Almost all the way back, it stalled. Not sure if that's because it's not getting fuel or what. Glided to the base of the driveway. Got it restarted, and reverse works! Not bad. But something's still not right on running up the engine - maybe the distributor? Anyway, with it at least idling, I can check the timing.

http://youtu.be/9IwlzRJ9BPY - reverse

Third video - got it started and partway up the driveway. Had to back off and try again. Put it in L. Could feel the difference in the pull. Overall, it handles lighter than I thought it would. Maybe the steering is faster than the '55, or maybe the suspension geometry is more in the direction of lighter steering. Brakes pull pretty strong left, but when I did them, the left front dragged more without the pedal being pressed. Need to adjust.

http://youtu.be/vUqeLC-CLho - back up the driveway

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I bought the mustache bar off of the same car for $65 yesterday. Watched your videos. Making great progress!

Been out of town for the past week. But where there's internet... Can "get stuff" done on the car.

Scored this on eBay. I had pretty much given up with originality here & had collected dimensions to just get one made...

The other cooling related parts they were selling from this car looked really good (saw inside the t-stat housing, etc.).

[ATTACH=CONFIG]250964[/ATTACH]

Edited by retirednow (see edit history)
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Loved the videos. Some unsolicited advice. Never rev the engine and drop the trans into gear. Especially reverse. There are struts holding the low and reverse gear bands in place. Jar em hard they can drop out. This is more likely on reverse and there is a chance that can be fixed while the trans is in the car. There is no chance of fixing a dropped Low strut while the trans is together. Otherwise, Congrats! Looks like it was a comfortable ride?

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Thanks John. It may be saved by the fact that the engine bogs right down when put into gear. I need to work out what will make the engine speed up properly. I'm probably going to pull the carb back off, since I did the rebuild on that & check that the acceleration features are connected and functioning. I also have looked at the section of the manual on checking the centrifugal and vacuum advance functions of the distributor and will check those as well. But it starts easily and idles well.

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Since it looks like it may be time for it to drive a little, I reinstalled the battery hold-down bracket. Then reinstalled the RH cabin air tube & connections for the defroster fan. Defroster fan works! Installed new hose for the cabin air (from Bob's). Reinstalled the plug wire cover. Jacked it up. Drained the transmission. Fluid didn't look too bad. Dark, but still red. Need to turn the engine to get the torque converter drain plug to show through the access panel on the back/bottom of the bell housing to drain that, but that was it for the night.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Since the last post, I took the carb apart twice. Trying to change only 1 thing at a time, but "while it's out" and "while it's apart", it's too tempting to limit changes to just 1 thing. Changed the float level. Looked like the fuel level wasn't high enough to fill the "big pump" chamber from the "top down" fill slot. Not sure if it's really supposed to fill from this point. Tested the pump. It seals nice, and moves fuel to the nozzles. Last night, had the carb back on the car and bent the rod (per the directions) that adjusts the point where the pump engages. Since I did this without the carb apart, I couldn't check that it was the right amount. Probably too far.

I now believe the passage that fills the pump chamber from the bottom is blocked, and this prevents the pump chamber from filling. As before, the car starts fine with a squirt of gas from outside, indicating that the pump either doesn't pump or it's not filling or the nozzle output is blocked. And if I gradually run it up past the mid range, I can see fuel flow from the high speed jets (pretty cool).

So now I think it's the pump fill passage. But I have another check in mind for the jets, and I want to go back and re-set the float level and pump engagement point per the manual...

But I can now strip this carb off and have it disassembled in 5 minutes or less...

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Having said that, it took the better part of an hour last night picking through all passages and verifying that they work, but I found the blockages! (2 super-fine passages that I cleared with a fine piece of wire) Reset float and pump levels best I could, put it back together, and it works! There's still a little hesitation on acceleration, but I'm going to turn focus to the ignition side of things - timing and advance mechanisms... But the carb is fully functioning. Starts without me adding a squirt of gas from above...

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Eric, I am so pleased to see your progress. To have it driving again must be thrilling, after all the hard work you put into it.

See there Roy, you could have gotten it up and running then sold it for a higher price. :D

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Thanks Roy. Took it around the block a couple of times again last night... I'm afraid the radiator leaks, so that's another item to resolve.

I haven't got too much farther with the ignition - I got a timing light on it last night, and the timing mark may be too faded to see. I need to pull the bottom cover for the flywheel and maybe re-paint the timing mark. Also the distibutor does not budge when I loosen the bolts holding it. So I can't yet change the timing even if it's off...

I've made some improvements to the steering wheel. I should post before/after photos for that...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Put some hints as to actions on this car in other threads. But to summarize here: Got the timing mark cleaned off. Put front wheels on ramps, pull trans flywheel cover. Pull ignition lead to use starter to bump the crank around. (It's easy to briefly engage the starter and only turn the crank a fraction of a turn). After 2 tries, saw the timing mark. Well, saw the lines etched in the flywheel where the mark would be. It was all perfectly black with decades of whatever it is that collects on such things. Cleaned off the timing mark area, and the bright yellow paint is still in the mark! (Per the manual, the mark is exactly 1 degree wide.) Set the timing properly. It was a little off in the not-advanced-enough direction. Idle smoothed out a little, but no change to the acceleration.

Took the line loose on the vacuum advance. Engine runs EXACTLY the same - big hesitation on acceleration. Pulled the vac advance off the distributor. I could blow right through it. Ordered a replacement from Kanter - exchange, but they're on the shelf there ready to ship. This may be "it" for the engine. Then I'll be limited by tire condition & leaky radiator...

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Get the rest of the ignition in shape while you're at it. Plugs, points, condenser, cap, rotor and plug wires. Any weakness in the spark will contribute to misfire, bogging on acceleration.

How's the accelerator pump doing? Does it produce a strong healthy squirt into the carb when you open the throttle?

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Carb function is good. I've already done a lot of work there and the accel pump is doing what it's supposed to. The fact that I can blow right through the vacuum advance and that the engine runs exactly the same with the vacuum line connected/disconnected from it are the clues that it's a big remaining problem.

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A leaking vacuum advance will hinder its operation or even be non-functional. However that should have only a negligible effect on causing a hesitation or misfire on acceleration. A small vacuum leak like that will pretty much only affect the idle settings, and the lack of vacuum advance will reduce cruise-speed fuel economy. If it's getting adequate fuel, then my bet is that your spark is blowing out when you step on it. The higher cylinder combustion gas pressures on acceleration make it more difficult for the spark to jump the sparkplug gap. Any weakness in the ignition will tend to show up. Even tiny cracks in plug wires, or dirt or carbon tracking in the cap or rotor provide alternate leakage paths for the spark when it can't spark at the plug.

Edited by Wheelnut (see edit history)
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Ordering more parts... But yes, I agree this is down to the ignition side now...

Plus side is, those parts are pretty easy to change out, and I've worked out (cleaned so it's visible) the timing mark on the flywheel...

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A little something while awaiting make-it-go parts...

post-92541-143142699186_thumb.jpg

As-received (from another forum member)...

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How the "Special" trunk script wasn't. (Especially next to the re-do of the trunk handle)

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Side-by-side + repainted the black inside the letters...

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Installed - stands out much better.

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  • 1 month later...

It's been a while, but I've also been getting things done with the other cars. I've had the carb on & off this one a few times in the past few days. Thought the timing of the metering rods was off or something, so I ran it with the choke and vacumeter cover off. Seemed like the vacumeter piston was kind of sticky - not smooth action there on acceleration. (Tested while parked, not in motion.) So I pulled the carb off and cleaned the vacumeter piston and its bore. Put it back together. Next run, noticed that the main nozzle for the front/rear cylinders wasn't flowing! I think that would make a BIG difference. Today, pulled the carb off and apart again, specifically to focus on getting flow in that passage. Also found the "anti percolator passage" into the larger passage blocked. Checked that there was flow with shop air - put air through a little tube into one passage, covered another outlet with a finger, and felt for air at the outlet of interest. Compared this "check with air" with flow on the other half of the carb - seemed like I could feel something, so I put it back together (getting pretty quick at carb remove & install). Started, ran it up - flow on both sides! Should make a little more power with 8 cylinders firing instead of 4! Though impressive that I could get it around the block and up the driveway - with a running start - with only the middle 4 cylinders firing!

Backed it down the driveway, into the street. In drive, it died. Was too gentle with trying to bring the power up. Tried again by just putting in maybe half throttle, and it went through the rough spot and took off. Feels MUCH more like it would be OK to enter a road with real traffic. Took it around the block a few times, then back up the driveway was no problem - pulls like a "real" car with 8 of 8 cylinders...

Also had swapped out the plug wires a couple of weeks ago, but I don't think that made any difference. Other than I went for the "vintage look" set from Bob's.

Overall, a good day that gives me a real taste of where this car is headed...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Wheels off to have the rims re-done. Local tire shop that I've done a lot of business with pulled the tires for no charge (they know I'll be back for the new tires)...

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Up on ramps/stands for wheels off.

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6 rims (pick the best 5), and yes, they all measured 6" with the tires off...

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The one to try to color match. That color looks so much lighter/brighter in a flash photo.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Didn't get the rims anywhere this week, but I've been cleaning up hubcaps. Have about 13 or 14 of the '51's to choose from now. The best 4 will go to the 76R. These are what I think may be the 5th, 6th, and 7th best. Been working close-up on the polishing wheel, in the garage lighting. Had to take them outside to see if "they'll do". Other than cleaning off some extra polish residue, I'm declaring these done enough for the 41D.

post-92541-143142846678_thumb.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Got the rims powder coated. It was quick, and a good price. Color is a little brighter / more orange than I thought it would be from the sample chip, but only about 3/4" ring shows outside of the hubcap, and they should be good for another 60+ years...

post-92541-143142879528_thumb.jpg

And after this clean-up, I could see there is a maker's mark on the outer diameter (where the air or inner tube sits). It includes the company, "made in the USA", 15" diameter, 6" width, and I'm guessing maybe a model or style number. But you can't see any of that with an old tire on it...

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I like the look . keep up the driving standard and fix the radiator , may also look at the thermostat and "if your year has that bypass my 41 248ci had " I believe it don't . The red for the rims is a interesting thing , Cars INC of new jersey offer my 1941 buick engine paint and it is also the red rim paint that Buick offered as a option . posting the listing of there catalog . http://www.oldbuickparts.com/catalog/pdf/cat360/36000.pdf

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Buickkuhn - yes the engine red you used looks more like the rims as they came off the car, especially the spare which had less exposure to the elements. I just picked an "in stock" red in part because the price was right, but also with hubcaps, there's only a small circle of red that shows. My car doesn't have the dog dish & trim ring, but rather the full hubcaps. I put a thermostat into the housing, which was empty when I got the car. I don't recall what temperature of t-stat I got, but it was listed as for this car. Being an in-stock off-the-shelf item, though, it the outer diameter was too large, so I trimmed it down to fit. It definitely doesn't circulate anything to the radiator until it pops open. I'll get the radiator done. And moving the car around a little, I can see the rear seal on the trans will need to be replaced.

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I knew the accelerator pump on the carb wasn't filling, so I worked on that for a while. First, had to find the inlet to the pump. Found that little hole. Then, had to clear the passage between there and the pump. Used B12 chemtool for cleaning and to observe flow between the float bowl and the pump chamber, and I was able to open the passage by threading a small wire down the check valve in the center of the pump chamber back towards the pump fuel inlet (with the check ball removed). I'm not sure it's filling fast enough, but now can start it without dripping some gas in from a squirt bottle, and acceleration is better.

But knowing that the radiator is leaky, I pulled the radiator and took it to a shop. Their rebuild guy is off this week, but the guys who are there can measure it & order a new core. This will be converted to new core type. They said there's one or two companies that will make the original-style cores, but the lead time is 1/2 year or more because they accumulate orders before making a run. Not worth it for this level of project, and I saw on another thread that the current-technology core cools better.

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