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1949 Buick Super Sedanet (56S)


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Thanks Geoff, much appreciated. I drive the Buick as much as I can too, which is less than I want but that doesn’t matter because I am very grateful to even have her and having the chance to enjoy her and take care of her. 

 

Was it it not for this forum my joy would be short lived since the help I got here kept her on the road. ?

Edited by Wilf Sedanet (see edit history)
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Almost ready for installation. 

 

I just need a 5A fuse and then see where I am to attach it electrically to the car wiring, then crimping connectors and enjoy a cool breeze ?

 

I had to keep it patina, says everyone. I also like the patina so as long as Rosetta isn’t repainted I will keep it like this. 

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AC4676D0-07D9-42B4-B0ED-A298C0EB8170.thumb.jpeg.706ac2836798114890dd3b8fd1472726.jpeg1EFD2556-8649-4956-92EC-A1E87A60683E.thumb.jpeg.0ff9762dc0e9672436491185d60a2d99.jpeg

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this. I am proud that I fixed it and I really need it for long trips to cool down but it also takes away a little of the view of the perfectly designed dash which I love so much. Also it may be more of a truck accessory than a luxury car one. 

 

But it before I do decide to remove it I am first going to enjoy it :D

 

By the way: Rosetta is pulling my leg. It’s becoming a running gag: every time I fill her up with gasoline the gas pistol shuts off at 30 liter (about 8 gallon). It doesn’t matter if I drive 90 miles or 130 miles. It’s always 30 liter ?

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Another part project is to make a new radio. I removed the original years ago and bought a gutted one literally for just a few dollars and am finally putting the prototype together.

 

I am currently making a speaker cabinet and will build it up for 12 volt on my bench and when I put it in I will attach a 6v to 12v converter. In the not too distant future Rosetta gets new wiring and 12v conversion.

 

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The speaker is a 6.5” Retrosound stereo speaker so I can retrofit it where it should. I bought two amps (one sub amp, no plans for the sub yet though) and a mini DSP and Bluetooth receiver. 

 

There is one unknown and that’s the data of the Retrosound speaker (T/S-parameters) so I have to hope I can tune the small speaker box without it. I am first trying a closed box but if it sounds too boxy I will change it to ported. Without the parameters it’s a bit of a gamble though. 

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Moving on ?

 

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sprayed flat black and neoprene seam layed down. 

 

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speaker installed, back is not fixed yet because I am testing the sound with the currently installed sound absorbing material. 

 

This is is the test:

 

 

Music snippet by Wayne Hankock.

 

I’m quite happy with the result. The audio tech in me wants to fine tune the box but I cannot do much because of the size restrictions so I guess the DSP will have to do a little more work smoothing out the spectrum in the lower midrange. I am planning to do a crossover anyway; this speaker can go down to 52 Hz according to Retrosound so to be safe I will X-fade it at 110 and another speaker will take care of the bass frequencies at a later time (a project low on my priority list).

Edited by Wilf Sedanet (see edit history)
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Today it was 80F so we went for a cruise. 

 

First installing the dash fan early in the morning. ?

 

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Luckily there was a little breeze. We were with four cars and cruised through the countryside. 

 

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Fan in action:

 

 

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Because I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the sound from the speaker I experimented a bit. Normal HiFi design is either porter or sealed. When sealing the box I noticed the speaker didn’t perform well. It struggled with the back pressure. These dash replacement speakers are designed for open baffle performance. Calculating a port without parameters is lots of work and with an undersized box it will take quite an effort. So I took the guitar combo approach and left the back open. Now it has lows. It does honk without insulation so I tried absorbing material on the inside walls and then Polyfill in the main cavity and now I have it where I want it: the speaker is performing at its maximum efficiency. There is only a slight coloring left of the box dimensions (resonance) in low mid but it’s only a small amount which, although not ideal of course, can be notched with the DSP that’s on its way. 

 

I also test fitted the speaker enclosure into the gutted radio: like a glove! Here it is next to the original radio:

 

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The speaker enclosure is the exact same depth as the original radio. Because the tweeters protrude a bit more I decided to push back the enclosure a bit more backwards. It’s a really snug fit so I had to work carefully. I’m well pleased with the fit. ?

 

And here a picture of the back side and how it is currently:

 

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I didn’t fixate the sound deadener yet and that extra wooden piece is also not glued in, still in test stage as it is there. The top and bottom are 12mm and the sides and front 18mm - the top and bottom would be too thick to fit in the speaker otherwise. 

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With the risk of making this look more like an audio installation build thread in stead of a car build: I received another piece of the puzzle and tested it. This time it’s the bespoke Bluetooth receiver and it’s working perfectly.

 

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No noise, BT4.0 and to top it off a custom name:

 

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Still waiting for the DSP so final assembly has to wait. 

 

This part will make the car radio build become precisely what I want: complete stock look with modern sound.

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I just checked the site of miniDSP and the miniDC will be in stock from mid July on so it will take a while alas. 

 

In the meantime I decided to go forth with test assembly and I am quite pleased. Because of the difficulty in using the original volume and tone knob in this setup I will only use the knob to turn on the music system. 

 

Here some pics:

 

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It’s very snug but that’s no problem; this will dampen the speaker box resonance even more.  The buttons don’t do anything right now but I am thinking of putting some buttons on the back for possible later use on an Arduino or Pi or something. 

 

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The AM receiver is removed and the rest of the button setup now presses down on the speaker box. One small issue is that the buttons will resonate. If this is really bad I will take care of it, else I will leave it this way. 

 

I also made a schematic to make the design as clear as possible for myself.

 

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Fitting all the stuff on the inside will be quite a puzzle. :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some small maintenance: the previous fuel filter had been installed about three years ago or so but was quite dirty and eaten up by fuel. Time for a new one. I also wanted to see if I could isolate the fuel pump some more from the chassis but I’ll leave it for now. This model is not suitable for such a mod. 

 

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The brake line vibrates when driving over uneven surfaces making the car sound like a flag mast in the wind. Nothing a little rubber can’t fix. The grommet was a bit wide so we used a fuel line to cover the thread and a big rubber piece at the end so it cannot clang anymore. 

 

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Today I got everything I ordered in house. This weekend (Saturday morning very early) we’re going to the coolest meeting of the BeNeLux so secretly I hope I can get the radio done in time but this is not something one should rush so I will probably miss that deadline since I do need to go to work too :)

 

Anyway: my schematic versus real life:

 

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Still needed is: more wiring, a few relays and a voltage regulator (I have an eBay China crap thing laying around - don’t know if I dare use it). And a nicely colored LED strip (incandescent yellow, 2400K).

 

Another alight nuisance: all the boards are exactly dissimilar size so putting this together in one small place will border on nigh impossible. 

 

Cue music!

 

 

 

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A small correction of my last post: that Bluetooth device right there was a horrid Chinese eBay tryout. It was only after I cut a perfectly good RCA cable that I remembered the right one actually has RCA plugs. ? So I had to improvise with some digital audio coax cable. 

 

I am really glad with the results so far :)

 

 

The Bluetooth receiver called “1949 Sedanet” sends its audio to the 2x4 miniDSP. Outputs 3 & 4 will go to an auxiliary subwoofer later. Output 1 & 2 send their audio to the class D amp that’s driving the stereo speaker fitted in the original speaker space. 

 

The original volume knob now is used to mute or amplify the signal going into the amp. It will not serve as a normal volume pot because it is logarithmic and the digital amp needs a linear pot. It will also be used as an on/off switch when properly installed. 

 

The DSP also has a volume knob that can change the output volume of the DSP. This pot is linear as it should. It will be installed in an inconspicuous place as will the extra USB port.

Edited by Wilf Sedanet (see edit history)
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Today we went to the coolest meet of the summer. It was once again great as was the weather. It was a 180 mile road trip in total and she was doing fine although the heat did one time prevent the starter to get her going again. I met lots of very enthusiastic people including the owner of a 1949 Buick Roadmaster sedanet. Pretty cool!

 

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We’re back now and it’s evening and cooling down a bit so I was checking the car to see how I will fit the radio. Then I noticed something that needs to be addressed. 

 

The wiper assembly I bought from NewPort is a luxury edition with smooth interval, I love it to bits! However I had to hack a piece out of the defroster to fit the knob in. After measuring I now realize I also need to hack a big chunk out of the radio.

 

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That’s a bit of a setback. I’m not sure how I will go about and fix this. I could try and hack (open) the assembly or manufacture some sort of old school mechanic coupling so I can place it elsewhere or I can just cut away that piece from the radio. Or another option is to place the wiper knob elsewhere but I like everything to look and feel as stock as possible and hate modern looking clutter on or underneath the dashboard. 

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Forgot to mention: my mechanic fixed an oil leak that only occurred when driving in reverse. Turned out to be a scuffed oil line (to the oil pressure gauge) that was worn at the back of the engine (from rubbing). He also put rubber between the fuel pump and chassis and the car is now eerily quiet! This is how it must have felt when the car was new seventy years ago. Smooth and quiet luxury. 

 

Today I first reverse engineered  the NewPort switch and it’s really well made and can’t be altered. So I knew I had to work with its size. 

 

So I went on and test fitted the radio and speaker without the switch and then thought of a solution I could probably work with. I removed the speaker box from the radio housing and started assembling on only the chrome bezel. It took some washers but I really like the fit. The only thing missing now is the buttons and frequency gauge; that part is too big to fit along with the wiper knob assembly. 

 

Now for some proof:

 

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This is the wiper knob housing and radio potmeter in place.

 

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Front face.

 

 

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Side view

 

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Speaker box bolted in using M8 bolts and hanged in the regular radio ears (makes it easier to remove and reinstall the speaker box).

 

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Other side. 

 

Plan is now to place the amplifiers and stuff elsewhere. I’m not sure where yet. Also I need to design a new fascia behind the frequency finder and a new way to attach the buttons. That will probably mean something I am not looking forward to: demolishing original parts. Until now everything I did is easily reversible. 

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  • 1 month later...

It’s been a while. There have been some minor issues (worn out starter relay points) but those are addressed. Next is the light switch that, at least that’s what I thought I smelled, gas too much resistance (I thought I smelled melting/hot wiring). My dash light doesn’t work anymore too and the brake lights are also bad (only thing they do is dim the rear lights). A new light switch has been delivered and I want to use relays for (at least) the front lights.

 

I did a check with the rear light housing: I ran a wire from the battery terminal to the back of the car where I hooked it up to my multi meter. The ground to the lights was like 0.1 Ohm do that’s ok (I already rewired the rear lights previously). The lights aren’t very bright but they work. Also the left & right indicator work, be it not too bright. 

 

Then I gauged the resistance from the brake switch at the fuse box and that went from 3 Ohm without braking to 16 Ohm with the pedal firmly planted. So a new switch has been ordered. 

 

In the mean time I made a CAD drawing for the radio parts but got a little fed up with the project after a while so it is now on hold. 

 

This winter I plan to rewire the car and as a consequence convert to 12 volts (wiring kits are too thin for 6 volts and 12 volts will make a lot of things much easier).

 

Almost forgot: this summer I had made the right side of the hood latch fit the gaps better and keep it from falling shut directly after releasing the hood knob (the front latch wouldn’t carry the weight and fall shut taking the rear latch with it). A while back the wire snapped so I bought a new wire and installed it. Somehow the front latch stopped carrying the hood again so again I have to open the hood by pulling and simultaneously prying my fingers beneath the gap, not to release the knob or else my fingers will hurt a lot. 

 

The odd part is that the latch repair was done with the rod length adjustment and the latch height, the cable only pulls it in its place. It should not matter that a new cable is installed. 

 

One step forward, two steps back…

Edited by Wilf Sedanet (see edit history)
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  • 2 months later...

To quote a famous comedian: “Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into.”

 

I recently had to push Rosetta up a garage lift and, awkwardly (and unbeknownst to the conscious part that is affixed on top of my neck), put my left hand on the “FLOW” emblem which decided enough was enough and cracked under the pressure of being pushed around.

 

So now it looks like an American top model with a British smile. Well, Rosetta’s behind that is.

 

In other news: I decided to get the left door lock fixed permanently and my mechanic came with some solutions, one of which was taking it to a guy that’s specialized in that kind of fidgety work, but he also found me one on eBay which I bought. It will probably be here come January (buying stuff online at the end of the year is always a lesson in patience but that’s okay since the car is hibernating anyway).

 

Sometimes I wonder if all this talk without pictures makes sense but on the other hand this “dear diary” is also a documentary about the resurrection of a classic beauty. 

 

My girlfriend and I watched Rain Man last week which made me miss Rosetta again (and also made me feel like living in the wrong country again but that’s another story - if it wasn’t next to impossible we’d move to the US).

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5 hours ago, Wilf Sedanet said:

To quote a famous comedian: “Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into.”

 

I recently had to push Rosetta up a garage lift and, awkwardly (and unbeknownst to the conscious part that is affixed on top of my neck), put my left hand on the “FLOW” emblem which decided enough was enough and cracked under the pressure of being pushed around.

 

So now it looks like an American top model with a British smile. Well, Rosetta’s behind that is.

 

In other news: I decided to get the left door lock fixed permanently and my mechanic came with some solutions, one of which was taking it to a guy that’s specialized in that kind of fidgety work, but he also found me one on eBay which I bought. It will probably be here come January (buying stuff online at the end of the year is always a lesson in patience but that’s okay since the car is hibernating anyway).

 

Sometimes I wonder if all this talk without pictures makes sense but on the other hand this “dear diary” is also a documentary about the resurrection of a classic beauty. 

 

My girlfriend and I watched Rain Man last week which made me miss Rosetta again (and also made me feel like living in the wrong country again but that’s another story - if it wasn’t next to impossible we’d move to the US).

Don’t get discourage. You still have Rosetta & Dyna

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  • 2 months later...

Last weeks have been crazy! It should be cold and winter but temperatures are like spring / early summer. So Rosetta got an early stretching exercise. 

 

She is due for a new wiring harness so it was nice to have driven beforehand. 

 

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I also have have a new winter hobby: making shirt designs with my favorite things on it. 

 

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  • 3 months later...

It may have been a little quiet here because I bought something else but she is still my big love and I am currently trying to finish that old project: radio.

 

Recap: a cheap gutted radio was a donor for a new build, the inner workings made out of modern stuff (Bluetooth receiver, DSP, class D amp, stereo speaker, custom speaker box, LED backlight).

 

I made some boxes to put in the pcb’s and test fitted the front with LED installed. The led strip I bought was a small test piece but I liked it enough to install it for this beta version. It’s 2700K, 12V but I added a 7809 transistor in the front because at 12v it was much too bright and at 9V it was bright enough. 

 

Pictures say more than …

 

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fitting, drilling, wiring (here you see the BT receiver and the DSP)

 

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Overall view of the mess that is a DIY radio in beta

 

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the front face put together. Left knobs will function (volume = full range amp and tone = sub), right knob is nothing for now, 5 buttons B U I C K aren’t functional as well, maybe later and maybe with touch in stead of press. 

 

F34F8483-2803-4801-B790-40FA5F92D251.thumb.jpeg.0f2e1efe5d96cfb8dea4caff9c0685db.jpegLED test. Works well enough for me! :D

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Thanks Neil, the Hudson was never intended but sometimes you cannot pass up a unique opportunity when you stumble upon it. The ‘49 Buick Super is my personal favorite but my other unicorn is a 1942 Buick Roadmaster Sedanet but that’s a real rare one. 

 

I’m currently working on the radio wiring now and decided to use the dial so it doesn’t look so empty behind the glass (and more original).

 

I also placed a light diffuser (frost filter from my theater days) in front of the LED. The LED now turns on with the original volume potmeter (the on-off-switch). The parts radio I bought has a scratch in the plastic glass, sometimes it bothers me but at other times I think it befits the original look of my Buick. 

6ED6892A-4C74-4682-AF7F-44168C02F2A4.jpeg

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  • 5 months later...
  • 4 months later...

It’s been a while again. I’ve decided to sell my dream car because I drive her too little. She needs a better home. I did however finally finish the radio today:

 


and I made a lengthy video of her this weekend:

 

 

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