High Desert

My father's first car, 1957 Roadmaster Convertible, makes it to my worshop finally!

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2 hours ago, lancemb said:

Excellent!  I actually just ordered a pre-made one.  May have to make my own holes but we'll see.  I'm not going to build mine up quite as much as you did before installing, but a few of the exhaust manifold bolts are tough to get to once installed at the least.

Hey Lance, do you have a photo of the correct exhaust studs with the length? Are they 3/8" or 7/16". I have some 3/8" studs that are loose but I can't tell if I have the wrong stud or if the manifold threads are just that bad. 

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

26 minutes ago, High Desert said:

I think that would work too. I replaced the nuts yesterday already though.

The car's frame has two (one for each side) welded fine-thread nuts to receive the motor mounts. The motor mounts each have a fine thread nut, so the four identical mounting bolts have a two-in-two-out configuration.

I was imaging future me, under the car, trying to reinstall the motor and wondering why the fine or coarse thread bolts won't go in. 

Cutting off the old nuts and welding on the new ones is only a ten minute fix. I made sure to keep a bucket of cooling water nearby while welding to keep from melting the rubber. 

That's the way to do it.  Modify the replacement part instead of modifying the car.

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37 minutes ago, High Desert said:

Hey Lance, do you have a photo of the correct exhaust studs with the length? Are they 3/8" or 7/16". I have some 3/8" studs that are loose but I can't tell if I have the wrong stud or if the manifold threads are just that bad. 

Yes, I will send you a pic and dimensions in next day or so.  I should have one NOS one left.  The threads are different on each end.

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On 6/14/2020 at 12:36 PM, High Desert said:

Hey Lance, do you have a photo of the correct exhaust studs with the length? Are they 3/8" or 7/16". I have some 3/8" studs that are loose but I can't tell if I have the wrong stud or if the manifold threads are just that bad. 

Here is the correct stud.  It's probably supposed to be 1-5/8" total but my measurement includes the nub beyond the threads.

 

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2 hours ago, lancemb said:

Here is the correct stud.  It's probably supposed to be 1-5/8" total but my measurement includes the nub beyond the threads.

 

 

Thank you! 

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The exhaust company stopped responding to my emails about the resonators. Earlier in the thread I noted that both resonators arrived with the same bend in the tailpipe portion, when they should be mirror images of each-other. 

Not wanting to dedicate any more effort to obtaining a correct replacement, I cut the driver side tailpipe, reoriented, welded back in place, and coated the seam with high-temp metallic coating. 

 

Relax everyone, I didn't weld it while it was on my parts washer cabinet. 

 

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One of the exhaust stud holes in the expensive side of the engine is slightly buggered up because I had to fight removing a broken stud from it several years ago. It isn't awful but the threads are looser than I would prefer. 

Armed with Lance's correct stud info, I was able to find some replacements at Napa that are slightly longer in each direction. This allows me to thread them all the way through and secure on the backside of the flange with another nut that came with the kit. The downside is that each kit comes with three studs and associated hardware. I bought two kits of three and have these two left over to clutter the shop. 

 

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You probably don't have to remove the passenger fender to get the engine in/out but I sure recommend doing so. That increased access is invaluable, especially when you are doing it yourself. I'll have assistance during break-in though. 

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Posted (edited)

" ... I bought two kits of three and have these two left over to clutter the shop. . . "  -  Now that is just plain nutty ..... 🙃

Edited by buick man (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, buick man said:

" ... I bought two kits of three and have these two left over to clutter the shop. . . "  -  Now that is just plain nutty ..... 🙃

Just a suggestion, in light of your area, I bought this at Napa, bolts right up, works very well.  It is thermally activated.

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Edited by Caballero2 (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Caballero2 said:

Just a suggestion, in light of your area, I bought this at Napa, bolts right up, works very well.  It is thermally activated.

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Nice, is it for a 57 Buick or did you just find one that works?

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If I remember it correctly, I sized it for a '63 LeSabre 401ci.  I suggest taking yours with you to the store.

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This fan clutch looks like a solid one.  Is not a clutched assembly superior in over cooling functions ?

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5 hours ago, buick man said:

This fan clutch looks like a solid one.  Is not a clutched assembly superior in over cooling functions ?

 

 

 The fan clutch was/is used to conserve power when the fan is not needed, as in hwy driving. Added feature is less noise.

 

  Ben

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4 hours ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

 

 

 The fan clutch was/is used to conserve power when the fan is not needed, as in hwy driving. Added feature is less noise.

 

  Ben

 

Another added feature is it provides less stress to the water pump. 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, buick man said:

This fan clutch looks like a solid one.  Is not a clutched assembly superior in over cooling functions ?

 

I appears to be a non-thermal clutch.  It is filled with silicon that will loose its 1:1 pump/fan spin as the engine increases speed.  It will free-wheel as speed is increased.  It is generally less expensive than thermal clutches. 

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)

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**gripe mode**

 

I've called five different upholstery shops in the Albuquerque area to just get an estimate on redoing the seats. 

I know that obtaining the raw material to get the original two-tone green leather perfect will be tough, so I've given each shop the option of recreating the  ORIGINAL color and pattern in vinyl (they will need to save the leather they remove for me to store for later). 

ZERO RESPONSES! 

I even call back to check on the estimate (not quote) and get promised an answer later that day, only to roll solidly into the next day with no response. 

For an area of the country that has over 300 sunny days per year and non - rusting snow/rain conditions, you would think this would be a mecca for classic cars and the associated shops but it is like I have to fight and scrap for every single thing. On the off occasion I do find someone who can help, it is usually a person who moved here from back east two decades ago. 

Maybe it is just because this car needed so much just to get to this point, but I'm exhausted with the darn search every single time. 

It feels like the only real support here would be if I wanted to do an LS engine swap, custom tuck and roll upholstery, and make it a lowrider! Keeping it original is just beyond the comprehension of the culture here. 

 

**gripe mode off**

 

Simply put, the seat foam is hard/crunchy and the leather is disgusting. I don't want to sit on them while driving, even with seven blankets between my butt and the seat. The back seat is even worse. 

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48 minutes ago, High Desert said:

, you would think this would be a mecca for classic cars and the associated shops but it is like I have to fight and scrap for every single thing.

 

I think you hit the nail on the head here... the shops are busy and quoting on stuff takes time away from paid work... your right that it's a bit non-sensical and they should have someone available to do quotes.  I'm running into similar issues here.  I had a shop lined up to repair the A/C in my Estate Wagon once I obtained some of the parts but now that I have those parts, the shop is not returning my calls.  This was a trusted shop, but if they don't call back today, they will have lost me as a customer. Hard to believe they want to stay in business!

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2 hours ago, High Desert said:

ZERO RESPONSES! 

I even call back to check on the estimate (not quote) and get promised an answer later that day, only to roll solidly into the next day with no response.

 

The upholstery shops I've dealt with locally ( and I way prefer local so I can keep an eye on things) generally like to SEE what they are dealing with, thus I have always visited them in person either with the car in total, pieces/parts or pictures. And then you can just plop your rear end down in their seat until they give you an estimate so they can get you out and go back to being productive. Unfortunately, though you re the customer and it shouldn't be this way, it is going to require a tad more effort on your part.

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7 minutes ago, 38Buick 80C said:

 

The upholstery shops I've dealt with locally ( and I way prefer local so I can keep an eye on things) generally like to SEE what they are dealing with, thus I have always visited them in person either with the car in total, pieces/parts or pictures. And then you can just plop your rear end down in their seat until they give you an estimate so they can get you out and go back to being productive. Unfortunately, though you re the customer and it shouldn't be this way, it is going to require a tad more effort on your part.

Yep. Though the upholstery is just one of many things that has limited support and knowledge base here (can't wait until I need to have the dynaflow rebuilt). I've offered to bring the seats into the shops but they don't even seem interested in that. I've said that I'm just looking for a non-binding ballpark estimate, not even a quote. 

C'est la vie

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The radiator and fan shroud went in today. The fan shroud was a tight fit, maneuvering it just between the radiator and the power steering pulley was tough. 

Everyone may remember that the car didn't have a shroud when I brought it home, contributing likely to the severe overhearing and deiseling problem reported by my dad when he drove it in his teens. 

Someone was working on this thing at some point in the past and decided to toss the fan shroud because of difficulty installing. After putting it in myself today, all I can say is... 

 

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6 hours ago, High Desert said:

I've called five different upholstery shops in the Albuquerque area

There has to be more than 5 so keep looking.  Take the rear seat lower cushion around to some with no reviews or ratings, off the beaten track...

The big name shops with a slick website never work for me. 

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Posted (edited)

Not to bad anyone, but I have never honestly had a smooth straight experience with canvas or upholstery folks.  Be it my boat or cars over the years.  I mean there is just gonna be " something " that creeps up somewhere in the project and I do not mean unknowns creeping up.  But it is on their side .... either things or materials get lost or the project time table to completion goes from a linear concept to something logarithmic and exponential to a shift in costs due to this or that, non returned calls to the point or you have to shadow them and camp out front of the shop to get their attention.  Upholstery one would think would be pretty straight forward.  Do the take offs and get to cutting and sewing.  The opposite for example but very similar in complications setting in is the not so straight forward average plumbing project. Admittedly more complicated but regardless how many seemingly straight forward the number of turns, couplings and angles you anticipate, scale and draw out ... Something " always" results in more trips to the store, more turns, more couplings and less angles etc. That is why most plumbers drive van trucks I guess cause they need all those extra parts and fittings.

 

Don here is what I would do and have done many times to avoid the above mentioned BS.  Get yourself a good pair of hog wire pliers.  Take the seats out complete and set them on a good adequately surface working bench and surgically remove the skins from the seat cushions.   Then carefully as possible remove the cushions and put them is a container or make something that will safely contain them individually.

 

Next remove the  stitching from each of the pattern set blanks you remove that when sewn together make up your completed upholstery for that seat.  When they redo your seats these steps is exactly what they have to do in order to use your old original sectional patterns as a template to trace out onto new material before cutting out.  Different upholsters use various outside boundary hem / sew back lines. This means when they are tracing off your original individual patterns they allow an additional perimeter amount beyond the outer edge of original pattern piece and mark out these dimensions as such to allow for shrinkage, hem lines,  seat cushion material, contouring etc.  Either way, if you bring in your individual patterns as a number set over half the battle has been waged at this point.  They can take from there and do their professional magic.  In the meantime you can media blast your seat frames, springs etc and catalyze epoxy primer the whole works or get everything powder coated and make ready for the upholsterer.  Or you can ... Do the frames/springs first  and then bring the whole works over at the same time as your original patterns that way they have everything they need to start laying out, cutting and sewing.  Since you have a Buick Roadmaster convertible go over to youtube and look at Jay Leno's R.M. convertible.  He has a complete video show casing it.  Take note of the factory original puffy contouring of the complete original leather seat,  Notice the seat is not " Pan Cake Flat " but rather quite stuffed and where the piping meets the skins there is a definite raised radius contouring to allow for factory correct stuffing of foam and cotton.  This is the correct look not flat lifeless " Slam it Out " upholstery work.  It takes much more craftsmanship and time to do it correctly and that is why when you go and take a good look on many so called premiere restoration including frame off projects now days, the seats are pancake flat with little to no contouring.  Tell tale evidence of a slam dunk out the door job ....... 

 

Oh .... Make sure to insist they use a special very strong non rotatable sewing hem threading called Gortex.  It is made of a polypropylene material and boat upholstery and canvas folks use it.  This polypropylene thread needs special sized needles for the particular and various Industrial Sewing Machines your upholsterer uses in their shop and Singer makes the various needles for their particular machine setup.  Use this type of thread and you will never have a split seat due to thread rot failure again.       

Edited by buick man (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, buick man said:

**Big list of upholstery things to do **

Holy crap, thanks! I'll keep all of this in mind. Good info, 

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