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


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1 hour ago, lancemb said:

Nice!  What size whitewall did you go with? 

These are the 2.5". They were the closest I could find to matching the old Firestone that was on the car. They were the exact tires that old-tank recommended.

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4 hours ago, High Desert said:

Holy moly! That had to have been terrifying. I'm unsure how a car would react in that situation.

 

In neither instance did I end up with an immediate flat.  I am the one guy everyone gets mad at because I stop at rail road crossings, so I wasn't going fast when it happened.  In both instances I was actually able to drive the two miles home without damaging tires.  Not sure I would have wanted to go much further than that though.  That's why I spent the $$ and had Stockton Wheel make up a set of new rims for my car. They sourced used centers and welded on new 6" wide rims.  Came to me already stripped and ready for paint.  I think it was one of the best investments I made in the Super!   

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22 minutes ago, JohnD1956 said:

I think it was one of the best investments I made in the Super!   

 

I had no idea it was even an option! I may have to go that route later.

 

I got the front tire mounted and bolted up after work. 

 

The excitement is building!

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  • 2 weeks later...

That's a great looking car. I have a Buick that's been in the family since new as well (1962). 

 

I noticed you put a (much) darker green on the rims. Is that the color you going to use on the body? Or are you adding a third color? 

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6 hours ago, drhach said:

That's a great looking car. I have a Buick that's been in the family since new as well (1962). 

 

I noticed you put a (much) darker green on the rims. Is that the color you going to use on the body? Or are you adding a third color? 

Thanks! Having cars like ours can be both a blessing and a curse. They are so special because of the family connection but also a responsibility to maintain and keep in honor of that connection.

The green on the rims photographs much darker than it should. It is a close match to the dark green in the sweepspear trim. It isn't perfect but I'm focusing hard on merely getting the car roadworthy at this point. 

I'll make friends with the correct-police later.

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18 hours ago, High Desert said:

The exhaust system came in today. It sure looks nice but we'll see how it fits up over the next several weeks.

 

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Are the tail pipes missing their 2nd clamps?  

or are they wrapped up in the shrink wrap with the other clamps?

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dad and I got the exhaust system installed. It was an extremely good fit, with the only concern being that we seem too have two of the passenger side resonators. Notice how the driver side bends into the bumper instead of out. I've contacted the vendor who said they only have one part number for resonators and asked for photos. I sent them a bunch of photos of the installed system as well as multiple exhaust system schematics (pulled from other threads here) showing that the left and right sides should be different parts. 

They've been good to work with though and I have time to spare, so maybe my efforts will help square them away for future sales to other old Buick fans. 

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5 hours ago, High Desert said:

Dad and I got the exhaust system installed. It was an extremely good fit, with the only concern being that we seem too have two of the passenger side resonators. Notice how the driver side bends into the bumper instead of out. I've contacted the vendor who said they only have one part number for resonators and asked for photos. I sent them a bunch of photos of the installed system as well as multiple exhaust system schematics (pulled from other threads here) showing that the left and right sides should be different parts. 

They've been good to work with though and I have time to spare, so maybe my efforts will help square them away for future sales to other old Buick fans. 

 

You are correct.  The originals bent inward on each side, about the last 2" maybe 15 degrees.  Some of the old aftermarket ones were manufactured as only one part number, with just a straight pipe in the rear.  But, if you put the bend in, it's really goofy to have both sides the same.  Thanks for your efforts in correcting them; I'll know to ask about this if I order a set.

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Two things. First it appears the gas tank should be in place before tightening the left side pipes.

Second, and this is more of a question, should that panhard bar be bent like that?

I only mention these cause both could affect the placement of the pipes, and thus the alignment of the resonators.

Edited by JohnD1956 (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, JohnD1956 said:

Two things. First it appears the gas tank should be in place before tightening the left side pipes.

Second, and this is more of a question, should that panhard bar be bent like that?

I only mention these cause both could affect the placement of the pipes, and thus the alignment of the resonators.

I wish I had a gas tank but it is last on the list right now! Pretty sure it is out of the way of the exhaust when installed though. The bar may be bent. I noticed that too but hadn't started research yet on the topic. 

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  • 6 months later...

Maybe not last on the list after all.. 

The new fuel tank arrived yesterday! I can't install it yet because I'm still waiting for the sending unit and some other parts. 

It seems like it was done well but my memory only had the rusted dented original for comparison. 

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27 minutes ago, High Desert said:

Maybe not last on the list after all.. 

The new fuel tank arrived yesterday! I can't install it yet because I'm still waiting for the sending unit and some other parts. 

It seems like it was done well but my memory only had the rusted dented original for comparison. 

 

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Is it right that the sending unit comes out of the tank back by the bumper?   That seems odd.  Cannot remember seeing any like that before this one. 

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11 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

 

Is it right that the sending unit comes out of the tank back by the bumper?   That seems odd.  Cannot remember seeing any like that before this one. 

The '58 tank looks like the same basic tank except it has the sending unit located near the axle. This one matches what I took out of the car though. 

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Posted (edited)

Perhaps I missed something here Don ... where did you get the replacement new tank from and how much.  Looks like a very good copy and can one get it in stainless steel ?   btw The sending unit sits on the top of the tank in forward position as shown in your photographs.  The nipple at the rear of the tank is a vent tube that a factory rubber tube attaches to and slings over the top of the tank.

 

Edit:  Correction - Here are a couple photos of original gas tank when taken off of my coupe. The first is the top of the tank which fits up against the body with the red plug where the sending units is installed and mounted toward the rear of tank where the fuel fill tube is located,  the second photo shows the bottom of the tank facing toward the ground when mounted.  The red cap is where the sending unit mounts.  The third photo shows the tank as it would actually be mounted in the car showing the  front of tank and top which goes against the floor pan.  The vent tube is shown on the top and the delivery tube that fed the fuel pump can be seen on the bottom as shown which originally housed the factory in-line filter which is shown in the last photo.  The factory for 1957 believed in this so much that they eliminated the glass/ceramic filter element up front and all steel fuel lines from tank to engine.  Eliminated was the glass bowl A/C filter from what had in previous years been mounted near the goose neck thermostat housing.  Metal lines were eliminated for 1957 and as noted all rubber lines ran up to the front of the engine along the passenger side of car frame rail. The last photo is of the factory tank mounted fuel filter that eventually was discarded and either an in line after market filter was installed near the carburetor or the previously noted glass filter housing was obtained and installed as servicing the factory fuel filter meant draining the fuel tank before the new filter could be installed which no doubt was a time consuming task.

 

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Edited by buick man (see edit history)
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12 minutes ago, buick man said:

Perhaps I missed something here Don ... where did you get the replacement new tank from and how much.  Looks like a very good copy and can one get it in stainless steel ?   btw The sending unit sits on the top of the tank in forward position as shown in your photographs.  The nipple at the rear of the tank is a vent tube that a factory rubber tube attaches to and slings over the top of the tank.

 

I had set up a Google alert for reproduction 57 Buick fuel tank. It finally popped up. I bought mine from Fusick Automotive, but it looks like CARS is offering them too. I don't see any in stainless yet. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Yeah thanks Don, but  I vote for an all stainless tank.  Takes the same time to punch out a stainless tank as punching out this one but just an adjusted  increase in material costs for the stainless.   Although the new replacement tank is a general outline of the factory tank shown above, there are a number of differences but overall nice that we at least have an available replacement tank to purchase.  Let us know how it fits when you get the chance.

Edited by buick man (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

It fits perfectly. The only problem I had were the replacement j-bolts that came with the new straps were about 2" short. Since I broke the originals when I removed the old tank I didn't have anything to compare them to. 

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Edited by High Desert (see edit history)
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11 hours ago, High Desert said:

It fits perfectly. The only problem I had were the replacement j-bolts that came with the new straps were about 2" short. Since I broke the originals when I removed the old tank I didn't have anything to compare them to. 

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Don, where did you get straps?  I thought they were going to be produced in black as original... looks like they are bare metal?

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15 minutes ago, lancemb said:

 

Don, where did you get straps?  I thought they were going to be produced in black as original... looks like they are bare metal?

The straps, rubber strips, and bolts came from CARS. It said they fit multiple years and came pre-bent do a shallower tank but were the correct length overall. They appear to be zinc plated. Here they see next to the originals. 

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Posted (edited)

More good news. The brakes finally work! I had a package sitting at my front door this morning with the master cylinder shaft boot. I installed the master cylinder and bled the brakes with the help of my teenagers. The Buick now has a newer and cleaner brake system than my daily driver. 20200531_095943.thumb.jpg.485b1fdaa82e03fd3c030e2f1c4af5c7.jpg

Edited by High Desert (see edit history)
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For what it's worth ... and I do not know what other GM factory plants around the country were putting out in 1957 but if my two one owner original non restored Roadmasters can be used as calibrators, the plants in California and Texas produced original tank straps as silver cad plated not simply factory black painted. Also original tank was galvanized metal treated not just raw pressed sheet metal.

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11 hours ago, buick man said:

For what it's worth ... and I do not know what other GM factory plants around the country were putting out in 1957 but if my two one owner original non restored Roadmasters can be used as calibrators, the plants in California and Texas produced original tank straps as silver cad plated not simply factory black painted. Also original tank was galvanized metal treated not just raw pressed sheet metal.

 

Interesting; have you had the straps off to carefully inspect the portions less exposed to weather?  I have a loose pair from a low mileage car, and upon inspection it was clearly black from new.

 

I'm sure these were different depending on things like production date, build plant, and supplier.

 

I guess if they are produced with silver plating you can always paint them black.

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Can anyone help me with an image or description of how the fuel line and, what I assume is a return line, should attach to the tank. This image shows what I took off the car a few years ago. The line in my hand came off the tank. The longer line to the left ran along the passenger side of the car (supply). The line to the right ran along the driver side (return?). The T-fitting doesn't allow any flow from the return line, so I don't see the point. 

Minus the filter, is this the stock setup? 

 

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, lancemb said:

 

Interesting; have you had the straps off to carefully inspect the portions less exposed to weather?  I have a loose pair from a low mileage car, and upon inspection it was clearly black from new.

 

I'm sure these were different depending on things like production date, build plant, and supplier.

 

I guess if they are produced with silver plating you can always paint them black.

Lance, I honestly cannot tell by looking at my old straps. They may have been painted black, but portions appear to have not been painted, like the bent engagement hooks at the ends. I would say that if any came with paint, that paint was applied over a plating. 

Edited by High Desert (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, lancemb said:

 

Interesting; have you had the straps off to carefully inspect the portions less exposed to weather?  I have a loose pair from a low mileage car, and upon inspection it was clearly black from new.

 

I'm sure these were different depending on things like production date, build plant, and supplier.

 

I guess if they are produced with silver plating you can always paint them black.

 

Lance: my friend, everyone with a twitchy finger and a NAPA spray can convince themselves that the project is well done with a fast flash of flat black.  Cures everything, sight unseen does it not ?  However, you might want to ask yourself why would the factory Silver Cad Plate most everything else that was  exposed to the elements including Galvanizing the gas tank, but not plate the tank straps but take the effort and time to paint the straps black as a separate item that might not last in transport to the dealer's showroom ?  No,, everything. all exposed components, bolts, washers, straps, nuts etc ... and even including the frame mount shims n bolts for God's sake were Silver Cad plated.  For someone who desires to have their parts correctly plated go to these folks.... : Van Nuys Plating, located in  Van Nuys, California... they still do the real authentic Silver Cad Plating process..  So please,  If you have a twitching  finger to spay them black and you for some reason cannot or will not send out your components out to be properly silver cad plated, then at least buy a can of Silver Cad  paint and spray them instead of simply spraying another component with NAPa flat black.

 

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

Can anyone help me with an image or description of how the fuel line and, what I assume is a return line, should attach to the tank. This image shows what I took off the car a few years ago. The line in my hand came off the tank. The longer line to the left ran along the passenger side of the car (supply). The line to the right ran along the driver side (return?). The T-fitting doesn't allow any flow from the return line, so I don't see the point. 

Minus the filter, is this the stock setup? 

 

The stock setup had  NO in-line filter.  The filter was located in the tank as detailed and photographed above in my above post replies.  The vent hose ran up and over the the top of the tank when mounted to the car and extended over the top and was exposed to the atmosphere.  The photos above and explanations detail everything you need to know.  

Quote

 

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

 

I have a pair of original unmolested straps which were black since new.  My brake booster on coupe also was black. I trust my careful inspection and documentation of original parts.  Not all parts supplied were done the same way.

 

Also, some bolts on chassis had a black phosphate finish.

Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

The only bolts I have found that had a factory black phosphate application are the large hex headed 4 bolts that secure the top of the power steering gear housing cover on Saginaw Unit .... But then again who's counting ;')

 

Edit: Oh, for what it's worth I could be wrong and I was once back in 1971, but literally every non factory rebuilt Bendix or Moraine unit I have ever seen has been sprayed black without fail.  Every factory original unit has been either silver cad or gold cad plated and the master cylinder reservoir was darkish battle ship gray with a silver cad fill cap.  ;')

Edited by buick man (see edit history)
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Just found this thread, seven years in the making, too.  You're making progress and that's what counts.

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Posted (edited)

Started disassembly of the generator today. I'm pretty sure it is an older vintage than what belongs on the car. It has just a bushing on the rear instead of a bearing and has obviously been "rebuilt" before. I'm not happy about that but maybe there's something to appreciate about it being the same generator that was in the car when dad was driving it at 16.

 

(Edit--After reviewing the service manual, it appears that the generator should have a bushing on the communicator end. Not sure why I thought it should have a bearing.)

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Edited by High Desert (see edit history)
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Well, shoot.. 

 

I was cleaning the power steering pump to disassemble and re-seal when I found the reservior manifold is destroyed. It looks like someone installed the lid bolt with way too much torque, breaking and cracking it in multiple places. 

 

Anyone have a decent replacement I could purchase? I don't think I can fix this! 

 

 

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