High Desert

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

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That is a unique looking piston:  grooves on the skirt, ring grooves spaced what appears to be further apart along with top groove lower.  Source?  Advantages if any?

Thanks.

Willie

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Thanks Dan. I ordered the special sized plugs for the machine shop that came with specific instructions. I also pointed to it when I dropped everything off. I checked the spot last night, and they installed the new plug correctly. It is difficult to see, but looking through the distributor hole revealed it was in place.

Willie, I really didn't think the new pistons had much of a different design than the originals aside from the recessed rings around the skirt, but I let the shop keep the originals so I can't compare. I know they weigh the same as the original pistons, even though they are larger in diameter. I ordered them from Russ with Centerville Auto. He said they are what he uses for all his nailhead rebuilds.

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Edited by High Desert (see edit history)

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Dad's Christmas present to me this year was to have the Buick's radiator re-cored. He made the 10 hour drive to visit, and later that week we took the radiator to a good shop. $500 and one week later, it is back!

The shop couldn't get the original 2-row core, so this is a three-row.

There is another visible difference, and I was wondering how fast the 57 experts can point it out. Let me know when you see it.

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Hey, just checking in.  How's the car coming along?  Will it be back on the road soon? 

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Hey Lance. 

I wish. About a year ago I designed and built a sorting and storage desk for our son's massive lego collection. My wife started selling them to friends who have the same problem, but it takes me three full weekends to make one by hand. I told her I needed a big (5x10)cnc router if she wants me to make any more. Oddly, she agreed. 

It arrived a few weeks ago, and I had to move the Roadmaster around in the workshop to get the router in the door. I moved it back last weekend, but I'm trying to help her start this business. The Buick will get going, but darn if I'm not distracted right now. Next steps are to order rings and main bearings and reassemble the top of the engine. 

I hope both of yours are getting ready for spring and some serous road time! I wish mine was there. 

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57 roady convertible- no brainer on that one, restore it! I wouldn't worry about the coup, unless it has a perfect body it won't be worth restoring.

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Well that's an unusual turn of events, but pretty cool!  Sounds like something I'd make if I had more time. 

 

Well, good luck and hope to see you post some progress soon!

 

I'll be getting back to my convertible next weekend.  Need to check out oil leak and trans accumulator springs, then install top motor, and when I get a chance install the rebuilt speedometer and radio.

 

The 4 door is driveable but the master is going bad.  I have an NOS unit but need to find time to install that too.

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It has been tough to work on the Roadmaster for the past few years. My wife had essentially told me that she would not tolerate me spending any of our money on it. I was able to raise some $ when I sold the 76A coupe to use on machine work and some parts for the convertible's engine. My thought was if I showed some progress in taking small bites in an effort to merely get the car running/driving she would come around to understanding how much the car means to me.

That never happened. The funds ran out and I pushed the Roadmaster to the corner of the workshop. It is an amazing car but not worth jeapordizing my marriage over. 

Some recent events have freed me to again dedicate some time and money toward getting it going.

My son and I cleaned and organized the shop for hours yesterday, put the Buick back in the spot I built for it, and got the block out of hiding. I ordered missing parts and replacements for damaged engine parts.

I plan to have the engine together in a few weeks and back in the car shortly thereafter.

 

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Also, I now realize that I may have started this thread in the wrong section. Moderators, please feel free to move to "Me and My Buick" or I can open a new thread there.

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One of the reasons the nailhead was so gunked up inside was because the valley cover outlet to the road draft tube was completely plugged. I spent hours soaking and cleaning to unplug it with non-pleasing results.

After drilling the welds and replacing the baffle material with some new stainless steel brillo pads it went back together nicely. It will breathe now!

 

 

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Edited by High Desert (see edit history)
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I friend and I worked on the nailhead today. He normally builds Ford race engines so he this was a new experience.

I didn't get the crank machined back when I had the rest of the machine work done. The crank looked pretty clean when I disassembled the engine a few years ago, so I just ordered standard size main and rod bearings.

We checked everything with plastigage and he was surprised to see them fall within spec.

We are planning on using an intentional two-steps-forward-one-step-back assembly approach. Lots of fit up and ensuring the right hardware is in the right places.

I need to dig up all the photos I took during disassembly.

 

I have a question for the group. How do I install the fuel pump cam on the upper timing chain gear? It was riveted to the original gear but I got it off to use again. Can I drill out the small rivet hole in the fuel cam and thread a hole in the upper gear?

 

 

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Edited by High Desert (see edit history)
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I want to rent a hotsy pressure washer and give the car a thorough cleaning, especially in the engine compartment and transmission area before the engine is ready.

I need to be able to pull the car out of the workshop to do that. This weekend is dedicated to the brake system so that I can stop the car while moving it around. Someone had cut the parking brake cable back in the 1960s, so that hasn't been an option.

I ordered all new wheel cylinders, hoses, and stainless brake lines.

The shoes and drums were like new, minus the mud dobbers nests and spider webs. I believe they were rebuilt not to long before the car stopped running.

The new stainless brake lines have been perfect to install except for the one the runs along the driveshaft tube which was too short. It is almost like they made it for a Special or Century instead of my Roadmaster.

The rear drums were a bear to remove because of the hub-centric fit. It took lots of dewalt wire wheel, torch, pb blaster, and blood to get them off. 

The front brakes are finished and I'll finish the rear tomorrow.

Found some rust in the master cylinder so I'll probably pull that and put it in good shape next.

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@High DesertDid you ever figure out the fuel pump cam lobe question?  I was surprised to learn that it was riveted to the cam gear originally, and have wondered what the answer was.  

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John:  I think he meant the fuel pump arm is riveted together at the end which in turn rides on the eccentric lobe.  There is only the fuel pump, it's arm and the eccentric lobe.  A 3-piece Tango so to speak ... Don be aware there is however a factory Service Bulletin on the correct way to install the pump arm in relation to the eccentric lobe's position ... goof that up and you destroy the pump.

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On 9/28/2019 at 8:12 PM, JohnD1956 said:

@High DesertDid you ever figure out the fuel pump cam lobe question?  I was surprised to learn that it was riveted to the cam gear originally, and have wondered what the answer was.  

I haven't yet. I'll take photos and share when I turn my attention back to the engine. It is the stamped steel eccentric that the camshaft gear bolt goes through.

Sunday I finished up the rear brakes. Once I get the correct piece of brake tube in place everything beyond the master cylinder will be good. 

I stopped short of pulling the master cylinder this weekend because I'm pretty sure I'll need to remove the steering column first which makes me not happy.

Spent a few hours just cleaning and re-organizing the shop at the end of the day. Brake work makes a large mess!

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Edited by High Desert
Repetitive information. (see edit history)

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7 minutes ago, High Desert said:

I haven't yet. I'll take photos and share when I turn my attention back to the engine. It is the stamped steel eccentric that the camshaft gear bolt goes through.

Sunday I finished up the rear brakes. Once I get the correct piece of brake tube in place everything beyond the master cylinder will be good. 

I stopped short of pulling the master cylinder this weekend because I'm pretty sure I'll need to remove the steering column first which makes me not happy.

Spent a few hours just cleaning and re-organizing the shop at the end of the day. Brake work makes a large mess!

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Why do you think you'll need to pull the steering column? Is it that large nut holding the unit on the firewal?

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5 hours ago, High Desert said:

 

I stopped short of pulling the master cylinder this weekend because I'm pretty sure I'll need to remove the steering column first which makes me not happy.

You definitely don't need to pull the steering column.  It's not a fun job, but there are a couple methods, short of having the original tool. 

 

One is to use a long chisel to break the nut loose on the back of the firewall, then remove by hand.

 

Another that some have used is to keep the large nut in place with a large wrench or locking pliers, loosen small nuts at firewall under hood, and use a band wrench to spin the booster.

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3 hours ago, lancemb said:

You definitely don't need to pull the steering column.  It's not a fun job, but there are a couple methods, short of having the original tool. 

 

One is to use a long chisel to break the nut loose on the back of the firewall, then remove by hand.

 

Another that some have used is to keep the large nut in place with a large wrench or locking pliers, loosen small nuts at firewall under hood, and use a band wrench to spin the booster.

Yep, I saw the nut and the manual's reference to a special tool and thought it was a good time to take a break.

I've learned over the years that the effort expended to avoid removing in-the-way parts is not often worth itself. 

I'll take another look at the master cylinder this weekend.

In the meantime  what tires should I buy? I'm leaning toward the Firestone Bias Ply ,Zig Zag Tread,Whitewall from Coker. https://www.cokertire.com/tires/firestone-bias-ply-whitewall-firezigzagww.html

Any comment from the experts?

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11 hours ago, High Desert said:

In the meantime  what tires should I buy? I'm leaning toward the Firestone Bias Ply ,Zig Zag Tread,Whitewall from Coker. https://www.cokertire.com/tires/firestone-bias-ply-whitewall-firezigzagww.html

Any comment from the experts?

 

I am not an expert BUT I would say tire purchase at this time is premature.  Consider that the tires may be several years old by the time you first get to use them.  Keeping the car static on any tires may result in flat spots, and the tires will continue to deteriorate from the moment they are cast. 

 

That plus the description seems to indicate that these are perfect for '30's - '40's cars.  The wide white may be too wide for a '57.  I bought 2 1/2 " wide whites for my '56 and once mounted they looked just right to me.  Remember, the bead of the rim will cover up the inside 1/4 inch of the wide white. 

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THIS might be a better choice for your Roadmaster if you want to go with bias-ply.  I have used many sets of the the BFG tires and they performed well except for the low mileage (15,000 miles).  I bought a set of the zig-zag tread under Coker Classic brand and they are horrible tires:  Ride and drive like 8 ply truck tires at all pressures.

Radials? Don't consider anything but Diamondback where you can even specify WWW width.

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57 minutes ago, old-tank said:

THIS might be a better choice for your Roadmaster if you want to go with bias-ply.  I have used many sets of the the BFG tires and they performed well except for the low mileage (15,000 miles).  I bought a set of the zig-zag tread under Coker Classic brand and they are horrible tires:  Ride and drive like 8 ply truck tires at all pressures.

Radials? Don't consider anything but Diamondback where you can even specify WWW width.

One of the old tires I removed was a Firestone. The car had a mix of wide whitewall tires but that Firestone seemed to look the best on the Buick. It had the piecrust edging and I was looking for something similar.

The tire you showed looks just about perfect. 

I anticipate having the car driving before the end of the year, so they won't have to wait around too long.

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1 hour ago, High Desert said:

One of the old tires I removed was a Firestone. The car had a mix of wide whitewall tires but that Firestone seemed to look the best on the Buick. It had the piecrust edging and I was looking for something similar.

The tire you showed looks just about perfect. 

I anticipate having the car driving before the end of the year, so they won't have to wait around too long.

Those Firestones are great looking tires.  Buying those in a 2.5"-2.75" whitewall would look great on your 57!

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They didn't have the right size of Firestone. I ordered the BF Goodrich tires.

 

Thanks guys!

 

The Roadmaster is going to look extra classy.

 

 

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On 9/30/2019 at 4:24 PM, lancemb said:

You definitely don't need to pull the steering column.  It's not a fun job, but there are a couple methods, short of having the original tool. 

 

One is to use a long chisel to break the nut loose on the back of the firewall, then remove by hand.

 

Another that some have used is to keep the large nut in place with a large wrench or locking pliers, loosen small nuts at firewall under hood, and use a band wrench to spin the booster.

 

 

Gee ... You mean you can use these simple tools and do it this way ? .....

 

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