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1949 Buick Super Sedanet (56S)


Wilf Sedanet
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Thanks for the heads up! I have the original safely kept. It seems flat to me. The placeholder keeps the front glass in the right angle for the anti glare. I already tested it in the car and it seems to work fine. I can now finally look back at… Well… Through that small rear window there's not a lot to see actually :D

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  • 1 month later...

Yes I'm still alive! ;) In the meantime I've been buying a lot of stuff on eBay and to get the shipping costs as low as possible I sent all the stuff to an shipper in the USofA who sent the lot to me in a container (boat) last week, ETA is next week. I've bought a lot of gauges (everything but the clock - got outbid insanely), a (spare) carb with starter switch, a 6 volt flasher (died suddenly), an original door handle, door spring removal tool, a lot containing a pair of taillight bezels with lens, trunk & hood bezels & headlight rims (all in okay condition - some pitting and such - probably worse than is on my car but you never know when you need it). Also I had put a new order at Bob's Automobilia that is also sent along in the container. That order contains door handle clips, valve cover decals, battery hold down, battery hold down bolt, door handle & winder pressure springs (4), glove box lock with keys, locking gas cap (we're in Europe where gas is somewhat cheaper than gold), oil drain plug replacement and a sales fold out full color reprint.

I hope I can find some time to get the car on dutch license plates this november so I can get it in my own garage near my home, because in december I have a lot of time off - then I could work on detailing close by.

By the way - I wanted to order a lid for the window washer with a working vacuum control and such but man those are hard to find, especially if one does not want to buy the glass jar that comes along or one doesn't want to pay top dollar.

Edited by Wilf DeSoto (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally, after waiting three months, all the stuff I bought in August are in! Yes, patience is a virtue, I'm already so used to it that I've already reconciled my fate of driving it road legal in 2015... It has almost been a year ago when I bought it anyway.

Here the bought stuff on the dining table. :)

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A lot of stuff is just for on the shelf but the battery hold down is quite essential, me thinks. As is the oil drain plug. Even if the current one can be used, now I have a reference for the size of the gasket ring.

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Wilf,

The door handle is a work of art. This winter I am making a mold to cast a replica in aluminum which will then be polished, just to see how it goes. Beside the fuel gauge, what are the other two gauges? These things are just going to get more rare as time passes. The tail lights and chrome pieces look great!

Geoff

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yesterday and the next two days the car is finally up in the air! We're cleaning the underside and already found a lot of trouble. The rubbers are pretty worn of almost everything (suspension and tranny et cetera) and there is excessive play on the steering and suspension and bearings. I'm going to need a lot of new things... Even the brake cilinders could use new parts. I certainly have to order a kingpin set, wheel bearings (upgrade to conical if it's possible) and rubbers, gaskets and the like.

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It's late at night and tomorrow I have to rise early again to temporarily put the Buick back together because it has to go off the bridge again. I understand some people think I have lots of bad luck with the suspension / front end but I see it differently. We wouldn't have seen a lot of the trouble if we didn't dismantle everything. There are probably a lot of classic cars on the road, driven by people that haven't seen the inside of their steering knuckles, pitman arm, bearings et cetera et cetera at all. Potential danger when they do not know the full (service) history of their car. Most of the wear was because of items being 65 years old and not frequent lubrication (should be done every 5000 miles or every year, which ever comes first). Cleaning up all the grime, dust and grease that has been settling over the years that hides potential flaws is always a good idea before driving your new classic around.

A lot of the stuff still is usable (balls and cups) but some things are just too worn. The previous owner told me he had new brakes installed. This is true. The hoses and brakes themselves were new / in good shape. But... The brake cilinders haven't been taken apart by the mechanics that installed them. Worse more: They did not even cleaned any part on the linkages and king pin et cetera. How can they work with so much grime around?

Anyway: Now that we have to replace so many things to get the suspension and steering as new we will install a kit from Scarebird (brake discs conversion), install modern shock absorbers (original are worn) and of course new rubbers (if there are no PU-kits are available for the '49 Buicks).

I'm looking forward to the difference in steering and stopping when everything is up to par!

Some pictures of cleaning and removal of all kinds of parts:

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Some cleaned parts, reusable, hanging out to dry after oil cleaning.

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Oil cleaning parts from the steering bar.

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Reusable parts after cleaning.

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Lots of components in the steering bar - all in the right order.

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More cleaned parts.

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Looking very empty - but cleaner than before! Note the completely worn linkage in front of the spring.

I should have made more "before" pictures. There was so much dirt between the back plate of the brakes and the chassis (so everything in between) that steering was almost impossible. The king pin was one solid piece of 7" thick dirt and pebbles.

Edited by Wilf DeSoto (see edit history)
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  • 8 months later...
  • 3 months later...

Bob's , Cars  or Ebay   just bought  two  filters  for my 41 and 54 Buick   

 

:rolleyes: .   does the car start hard when it is cold  or Hot ?   Might be a problem with  the fuel pump  ...  When there is a spark usually a Buick will start   ..

 

take care !

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I couldn't find it on bob's site. You bought the filter for the original filter bowl?

I've got the original and electric pump, fuel gets in the bowl. The carb was gued up, I refurbished it (already had the kit on the shelf luckily, ethanol resistant too). The original filter bowl is only glass. I already removed the failing gasket; it was crumbling on the inside. The bowl was nasty dirty and I don't know if there's another filter down the line right now. On brake cleaner it ran, on carb alone it wouldn't. I did fill the tank a bit more but most of the gas is at least a year old… I put a bit Aspen 4 in the tank.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, it doesn't fit, now I know, haha.

Now, something different:

I've been reading the Fisher Body Manual and the Buick Shop Manual but nowhere can I find how to remove, adjust and install the gas cap door lid. Adjusting is probably just unscrewing the three upper screws and then shuffling the hinge until it seats just right. But that's not my main problem. 

My problem: The underside has no screws and rubbers et cetera. I bought a gas door guard since it was missing. Now I want to know how to attach it and where the rubber stops go et cetera. 

Does anyone have som pictures of the gas door guard of a '49 or '50 super/roadmaster and or can tell me how to attach the gas door guard?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wilfred,  

 

Did you overhauled the carburettor ?  please do.  ignition idem.  New spark plugs , coil,  cables . filter  so everything is brand new and ready to go ...    you allready started to "renew" the car ;) .  So than you know everything is fresh ..  

I have also  a 49 engine in my 41 Buick  :rolleyes:   ..  a few turns of the accelerator pump and it fires right up. 

 

good luck

 

Paul

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I did actually overhaul the carb a month ago since I have some spare time coming up so I finally wanted to make it road legal. But after overhauling I found out the carb was crooked (the top lid was bent) so I overhauled a spare carb I had laying around, only to find out it didn't fit on the manifold (roadmaster carb). So I then had to buy another carb. I bought two via eBay and won them beginning of December. They're on their way. I also ordered a new carb overhaul kit at Bob's. Ignition parts I have a lot of (bought in big at Rockauto to keep the shipping costs at the same price as the value of the parts in stead of ten times higher). So if you need a distributor cap, points, rotor or condensator… :P

I hope I get everything in time because my window is very small.

In the meantime I received my wiper motor from New Port. That will help in our (future) weather too.

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  • 3 months later...

I'm having starting issues. It broke my previous battery, now I have a redtop.

I refurbished the carb and filled the bowl with fuel before putting it back together and on the car. It ran strong and great until the fuel in the bowl ran out.

 

Now I have some trouble with getting the fuel from the tank to the carb, even with my electrical fuel pump. I have blown air though the lines and it seems to suck in fuel again, albeit not with a lot of pressure.

 

I still want to test the carb with a fuel line directly on it and a small tank on the roof but handn't had the tools with me to do that (and the car's far from my home). But well, first I wanna know if lack of fuel in the fuel is actually the problem. So I made a video whilst trying to start. If anyone hears what it could be (from the way it stalls and the longevity it actually runs) I would be helped so much.

 

Here's a link to the video:

 

Buick, Y U NO START?

Edited by Wilf DeSoto (see edit history)
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I didn't receive emails because of an error on my server so I didn't realize people answered. My apologies. 

 

It turned out that the fuel line really is the problem. 

 

I tried running it on a bottle directly connected to the carb and lo and behold it ran fine. I then removed the tank, expecting to find mass amounts of rust but it was actually pretty clean. Next I removed the electric fuel pump. That's how far I came, I need to bench test that one. 

 

Some pics of the process:

 

Draining the tank.

 

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Running on coke: 

 

http://youtu.be/sc6aZ9duDUM

 

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The tank. 

 

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Fuel pump. 

 

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Edited by Wilf DeSoto (see edit history)
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  • 4 weeks later...

Ordered a new fuel pump and filter, hoping this will give the car new life. In other news: I want to order stuff from Bob's, tried to call him but the international connection was bad. Mailed him but had no reaction yet (mailed on wednesday morning). Maybe someone here knows it:

I want to order the body mount rubbers but do not know which one and how many of them I need. I can't figure it out exactly with the workshop manual. Does anyone know?

 

There's the BM-328, BM-096 and the BM-097 which I think are the ones I need but how many and where they go I don't know.

 

https://bobsautomobilia.com/shop/?subcats=Y&status=A&pshort=Y&pfull=Y&pname=Y&pkeywords=Y&search_performed=Y&q=body+mount&dispatch=products.search

Who can help me with this question?

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've been working some more on the car lately. It starts up fine again after detouring the fuel line, getting the original fuel pump out of the equation (it is blocking the flow in stead of working) so the car saw some sunlight again.
 

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Because I will install electric wipers I had to remove some interior items (radio especially - to reach the wiper button). I also removed the clock and it looked like new, spooky new! When at it I also decided to remove the speedo that was stuck. I cleaned it and swapped out the working part of a spare one I bought on eBay. I couldn't pry off the needle (it only made cracking noises but wouldn't budge), which is a shame because the front face of the spare one is gold color while mine was silver color, but that's a detail.

 

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I put an extra shrink tube to go over the odometer reset link to protect from short circuiting (like the old cotton tried to do).

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I'll be installing an electric washer pump too. My Trico lid rusted out and the glass canister was extremely dirty. Although I cleaned it I'll be making a 'new' washing canister from an antique french jar I found on a local selling site which looks remarkably close to the original Trico one. The only difference is size. The Trico jar is 12,5cm diameter and 21cm high, the old French weck jar is 11,5cm diameter and 17cm high. It's only a liter versus about 1,5 liter of the Trico so I would have to fill it up more, but getting the original Trico washer in one piece to the Netherlands would cost me about 300 times more so then I'll fill it up some more. Some people over here even use Jack Daniels bottles or what have you. I don't think it fits a chique car like this so an almost original looking solution works for me. After thorough cleaning the original jar is still weathered but it sure has a nice look:

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I tried to disassemble the antenna again, this time removing the nut with the special tool from Bob's. It still wouldn't go anywhere. It's so stuck in that I have no idea how to remove it safely without a BFH. But I don't want to risk smashing my windows either. 

 

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Meanwhile I wanted to fix my turn signal issue (it stopped working) so I swapped out the relay. That didn't make any difference so I wanted to check the lights. All seem to be in good shape but the front right fender light and the left rear fender light were rusted in. The spring coils were completely rusted through and when trying to remove it the cotton wiring insulator broke in little pieces. So I decided to order a new wiring loom at EZ wiring. With that I am now also pondering to go 12 volt right away since 1. those after market wiring looms probably aren't up to specs (gaugewise) to handle 6 volt current and 2. it would save me a lot of hassle with finding stuff for the car (like the right lights for European rules et cetera) and 3. adding accessories will be easier and 4. finding good 6 volt batteries is a real hassle - I now have a non fitting redtop which cost a fortune because the previous battery went dead on me from all the starting attempts.

 

 

Rear left light:

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Front right:

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New (Port) wiper motor:

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Peek hole - that helped a lot removing the speedo too...
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  • 2 months later...

I've been doing a lot recently: She runs good and strong since I installed a redtop, new exhaust (and inlet) manifolds, installed new fuel lines and installed extra ground cables to the body (which helped with my lighting problem). I've refurbished a new speedo which works. I also fixed the broken cables. I've even driven a long test run because I'll go to the Dutch DMV soon to get it registered. At the test drive I did notice a problem I hope someone can help me with:

After driving for a while I hear a scraping noise and it gets worse and worse. It's at its worst when I let go off the gas, then it sounds like an angle grinder. It was also worse when I wanted to drive away from a standstill when I was on an inclination. What could it be? It must be something in the drive train, so it could be the clock in the axle or the torque tube... Does it ring a bell with someone?

I already had it once before and captured it on video back then (before I got the manifolds done), when letting go of the gas:
 

 

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  • 3 months later...

It's been a long time since I updated but I have had some ups and downs. The downs were all fixed so the up is: The car has a license! I can drive it legally now!

 

I had to do some welding and fixing but it was worth it.

 

So here some updated info:

 

The noise I was experiencing (see reply above) is probably due to the fact that there was no gear oil in the rear axle. So the bearings are probably shot. There's oil in the axle now but the axle sings a bit on the highway now.

 

The fixed speedo has a strange issue: It does not match the real speed what so ever. The speeds it says are way above real speed (30 on the speedo is around 10MPH real speed) which I found out the first time I drove on the highway, I thought I was doing 60 MPH but the speed difference was so big I only found out how dangerous I was driving after I started up my navigation on my phone. So that's an issue to fix. 

 

The New Port wiper works like a charm and I'm very happy with it. I did notice that (and this has nothing to do with New Port) there is rain water coming into the car via the wipers. It seems some gasket (rubber?) is missing because one can look from the wiper arm outside into the car. I will need to order more rubber anyway because the vent windows are leaky too.

 

I want to rewire the whole car because the wiring is quite dangerous right now. When changing it out I'm thinking of making the car into a 12v car in the process, which would make some upgrades a lot easier (thinking about making a custom radio and changing a fuel gauge into a temp gauge). 

 

I'm attaching some pictures that I thought are worth sharing, including my flight jacket with my car painted on it. Cool, right? The airplane in the upper left corner is a P38 Lightning which inspired Harley Earl in his designs. The proportions seem somewhat skewed but that's due to the wrinkling of the jacket. On my back the painting is phenomenal!

 

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Edited by Wilf Sedanet (see edit history)
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She looks very good on pictures, on close up there are some defects but she's 67 so that's allright ;)

I'm hearing you on the modification. Don't worry: I think this design is the best ever so i will not mess with it. That's why I want to mod the original radio so it looks stock. That's why I want to try to use the fuel gauge inside of the temp gauge (and try to convert a temp gauge to match the resistance of the gauge) because the original is broken and I don't want aftermarket stuff in it. That's why I am contemplating real hard for a 12 volt upgrade because I really, really hate the look of an alternator where a generator should be. But then again there's the practical side... I want to drive this car next summer to the biggest US car meet on the world, which is a round trip of around 2000 miles. A reliable and maintenance friendly car would be preferable and 6 volt is really a BIG PITA in Europe. Lights, electrical trouble, batteries, car kits, radio are all very hard to come by / solve. And I already have a Painless wiring kit, which isn't really made for the higher demand 6 volt asks from wiring. 12 volt is much safer (less prone to failure / fire and better lighting).

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  • 2 months later...

Season is coming! I want to drive it soon but there are two things I need to address: 

 

1. My radiator cap is missing! I cannot remember where it went last, so I probably need a new one. That's not as easy as I thought, or is it? I need a replacement number but could only find the AC DELCO RC-1. In The Netherlands they don't know this number. Are there more brands and product numbers or cars that used the same 7lb radiator cap?

 

2. The windshield wipers are leaking. I can see into the car around the bezels so it seems something is missing around them. Rubber maybe? Bobs automobilia and Steele rubber do not have anything for the '49 Buick super sedanet windshield wipers. 

 

I hope someone can can help me further with these things :)

 

[edit]RC-1 has been ordered. Will arrive in april, can't wait! 

 

Now for the wiper transmission pads…

Edited by Wilf Sedanet (see edit history)
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  • 4 weeks later...

I just started reading your story and couldn't stop,just realized I'm late for supper,that is a gorgeous car,my first baby sitter was driving one exactly like that,wish I could find the picture of it.She had that car 'till I was in high school and there was nothing left of her. Keep up the posts,I'll be watching. By the way I used to send cars to your neck of the woods back in the '80s,every see a '55 Sedan DeVille in tan with dark brown roof cruising around? Had an Elvis plate on the front when it left here, that was the last one I sent over,it was at the time your government decided to get in on the act and started the big tax on them,my contact there was so mad it sat at the docks for 6 months until he finally paid equivalent of $1800 US dollars when he only paid $4000 for the car,you could probably add another 0 to that dollar amount today. The one before that was a '55 Lincoln Capri.  Good luck with your ride and keep us updated.

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Hi RivRider,

 

Thanks for your response. I haven't been posting a month and in that month the radiator cap arrived from the US. Cost me about $100 when it finally arrived. Shipping costs are mad these days and then our customs ask another $13 for handling and 21% VAT. And guess what? Just when I wanted to put it on I found the rad cap on the other side of the car on the wheel well inside the engine bay. :lol:

 

Anyway, enough of the endless complainin' about costs, that all vanished since I've been driving the old lady. My girlfriend calls her Rosetta, after Sister Rosetta Tharpe that, like the old Buick, makes beautiful music and moves you with her soul and sound. 

 

It's so strange to realize a car like this once was more or less normal and that your babysitter drove it as an everyday driver. I'd imagine a car like this has always been special, but then again, I've never lived in America back in the fourties and fifties.

 

There are a lot of beautiful cars driving around here but a lot have also been sold to Germany and Sweden so I don't know if they are stil here. I have seen a tan and dark brown roof '55 Caddy, can't remember if it was a 4 door or 2 door though. 

 

Back to the Buick:

 

On the weekend of the 25th of March my first official ride out was a fact. It was a beautiful day and I was so anxious driving the Buick. I really had to get used to it too; at first I didn't dare to accelerate too much. Later on I dared driving around 50 MPH but not much faster; the engine revs quite high and I am not used to that yet and I'm not sure if it's not slipping too much (and thus revving too high). I treat her gently.

 

Last weekend I went to my first meeting called Saturday Night Cruise. It starts at 6PM and when I drove on the meeting ground a lot of people flocked to the car. I got reactions like: "Wow, that's a '49, right?" and "Is it true the antenna can be secured between the front windows, I saw that on tv last week" and "Finally I get to see a '49 sedanet in real life! I am a great fan of all streamlined cars and this one is one of my favourite!" I was truly blown away by all the nice people with much knowledge and interest (and good taste of course, haha ;) ). When I opened the engine bay even more people attended. If smiles were worth a dollar I would be a millionaire and so would everyone around the Buick.

 

The next day (last Sunday) was an amazing day too (sunny and warm) so I took her out for another spin. Still not used to the acceleration, slip and revs, and hearing her knock when giving her too much gas, not everyone was smiling (some cars behind me became a bit agitated - one Tesla decided to pass me on an unsafe road) but everyone else was enjoying every bit of the car. One of the coolest things was a vintage Porsche driver passing the gas station I was filling her up at. The boy in the passenger seat set his eyes on the car and his dad slowed down and both were enjoying the car, as if they forgot they drove an expensive and special classic themselves. This car is filled with joys per mile for everyone. We also passed a church going mother and her two young daughters (around 4 and 6). Mother stopped and said "Mooooooooi!" (English translation: "Beautiful!") and those girls stared and turned in awe, with glowing eyes. Very special to see their reaction, their smiles and awe. 

 

Okay, enough with the words already! :D

 

The first two pictures are of the Saturday Night Cruise in Den Haag, the dash picture was later that evening and the video was of last Sunday, made by my father in law. You hear another car starting, this was the car my father in law was standing in front of. He was so busy watching us leave that he only noticed after he stopped filming. He then said to the driver "I'm sorry I was standing in front of you just now." The driver said: "We didn't mind, you don't get to see a car like that every day!" :)

 

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Well actually I think it runs a little hot but my temp dial isn't working. The engine (coolant) isn't steaming but in stead of the 14 liter I can only get 7 liter cooling fluid in the system and after turning the car off you hear water seeping inside of the block (in stead of a steady stream). I've rinsed the system a few times already. The reason I think it does run a bit hot is when I give half gas when I'm driving around 30 MPH there is a knocking sound, especially when the engine is already hot. The oil pressure is very healthy.

One of the things I want to do is make a new temp gauge that looks stock (using an electric one) but since it's upside down that's easier said than done. 

If this engine gives the ghost I think I have to buy a new one because one of the previous owners already screwed up a part of the head; the exhaust gasket was shot and one of the bolts was retapped but crooked, we had to retap it again and thereby one of the head bolts was cut in half.

 

By the way: the speedo seems to be in KM's may be... It is ticking (so the dial is swinging) but the numbers are closer to KM's than Miles: When I drive 40 on the gauge the real speed is 50 KMH or 30 MPH. When the gauge reads 65 the real speed is 80 KMH or 50 MPH. When the gauge reads 75 the real speed is about 90 KMH or 55 MPH.

 

I dare not go faster since something in the drive train is resonating then ( like ...rrrrrrrRRRRRRrrrr............rrrrrrRRRRRRrrrrr........rrrrrRRRRRRrrrrr.......) and I feel not comfortable with the high revs of the engine (yet?).

It always takes time to get used to a new old car (at least, with me) so I am comfortable that I do not break things :P

Edited by Wilf Sedanet (see edit history)
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So your temp gauge does not move at all?  Those can be rebuilt, but I imagine they are hard to get out.   Also, are you sure a head bolt is broken off?  If the engine is overheating it is best not to drive the car too much.  You don't want to warp manifolds or blow out a head gasket.  But the question is if the engine is really running hot.  Have you checked engine surface temperature with an infrared thermometer?  Try to get a reading from the area immediately adjacent to where the temp gauge sender is on the block.    

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