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1925 Master question.....


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Without rereading this whole thread again, have you ever done a compression test?

Also, isn't the hole in the bell housing, that you've used to pry on the starter ring gear, also the where you can see the timing marks on the flywheel?

The ni-chrome wire thing you refer to is the ballast resistor. Just go to an auto parts store, (a good one, with guys that have grey hair, instead of acne), and ask for a ballast resistor for a 6V ignition. Or, use an ignition coil with an internal ballast.

You seem to have multiple problems that you're trying to solve simultaneously. For me anyway, that never goes well. Pick one problem, fix it, then move on.

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Thank you for your thoughts...&

...yes, trying to do the one problem at a time approach....concentrating on the ignition now....

New coil, points, condenser ,better crimps on the plug wire (cap) ends ,now pretty close to having all that installed for another try.....

This bellhousings' flywheel access hole points straight down, so it takes both of us to get it to TDC on compression.

The compression we've never checked...certainly is on the "to do" list.

That nichrome wire coil device @ the bottom of the coil is written up in the service manual as a kind of safety valve (my words),that prevents battery drain if the ignition switch is left "on" for too long (assumption here: left on with no other battery drain).....this maybe dosen't make full sense, but the book says that the nichrome (iron wire in '25, I'd guess) coil gets hot, turns orange (which I've seen 1 x) & dosen't flow battery power as well as when it's cold......if we can call that a "ballast" resistor, so be it. I've also read where 6 VDC coils do not require a reduction of power to the points at all.......so, ya....I'm confused.

Getting there....!

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  • 1 month later...

Hi again Jerry.....

the news is SSLOOOOOW progress........

winter set in.....

The orange glowy exhaust manifold is a huge concern....that simply isn't right & I'm thinking that's been a problem with this car from the day my friend received it.....it always overheated & nobody ever picked the hood up.

We got to a point with it where we considered it a good nights' work if he could drive it back into the garage when we were done for the night.

The very last time for that weeks & weeks ago,the motor was just barely running with the throttle wide open and that was a result of a last ditch after dark timing change in one direction or the other...I forget which way I went with it....

And then it quit & would not fire.....no spark....which we'd been experiencing for some time.....

So, now we have a new coil, points, condenser, better clinched spark plug wires & a desire to more accurately set the initial timing.....and I can report that this engine dosen't like the service manuals' 7 degrees AFTER TDC.......

Bob (at Automobilia) has told us the coils on this particular vehicle are problematic......we were needing to clean burned points every time the engine ran & I tried a few nichrome wire combinations to replace the coil at the bottom of the original distributor.....

NOW......on another thread in Pre War....I read where Oregon Desert model 45 is deep into his Marvel & another fellow is carefully fitting the throttle plate to its' venturi block......and this interests me 'cause an orange exhaust manifold can be caused by a lean fuel mix........I'd been playing around with the low speed fuel adjustment of the carb & had actually realized some positive results when the motor would stay running.........

Prior to the new electrical parts (which are sitting on my bench awaiting install)...we'd seen a rather large temperature differential across the actual exhaust ports.....and that pointed to the ignition for problems....maybe.

So, as soon as we get all the new electrical parts on & operating, I will report our results !

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I haven't read all the previous threads, but my first thought when I read of a glowing exhaust manifold is a plugged exhaust system, usually caused by a mouse nest, probably at the end of the tail pipe. Just a thought in case you haven't already checked.

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I haven't read all the previous threads, but my first thought when I read of a glowing exhaust manifold is a plugged exhaust system, usually caused by a mouse nest, probably at the end of the tail pipe. Just a thought in case you haven't already checked.

ya Larry.....that was one of our early investigations on this thing....

and that led to a study-up on the intake & exhaust baffling including the heated

intake track.....

No Joy on any of that....

and thanks for the thoughts !

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  • 6 months later...

WELL.......we've been back on it for a while now & great progress has been made.....

   orange glowy manifolds seem to be gone.....

   lot of carb stuff went on....

   ignition now seems to be working & dependable ( thank you Bob's A. for the discussion & the new parts!)

   timing issues persist & that's what brings me back here looking for advice/guidance.....

       I believe we advanced the timing just a bit too far & broke something in the starter gear train......

       likely candidate: the one way clutch/bearing in the STARTER GEARSET.....NOT the the one in distributor drive

Anybody have any experience here?.....we're having trouble removing the larger cross shaft from the top

of the separate cast  "drive tower" the bolts right on top of the bellhousing behind the S/G......with its' bolts removed,this "tower" is loose enough to

see the yoke piece that engages one of the starter drive gears, but with out removing that larger diameter shaft, we'll never

get the "tower" completely out of there as seems to be required to pull the starter gearset out.

Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated!

As far as our progress so far.....I intend to document it all,add pictures & post for all to see.....there's stuff going on

that should be shared with everybody.

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Have you disconnected  the operating rod that moves the brushes in the starter? If not it wiil not alow the cover to  be removed.


To remove the idler shaft, first remove the cotter pin in the front,  the starter/gen may need to be removed, the shaft


 can then be pushed to the (rear? I think it only goes one way, don't remember which) to remove the gear. 





22-6-55 Sport touring

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John......I believe I've got that part all apart & out.....

              We blocked the starter pedal fully down & had just enough room to remove

              the "pointy" shaft & the cast piece that moves it and they are now sitting on the bench.....

              the advance rod & its' mounting bracket likewise on the bench....that ignition advance cross shaft is the smaller diameter one

             and we could push it easily over toward the drivers side to disengage it from the "tower" after a 'lil bit of dinking around...

         It's that much larger diameter shaft that also goes thru that tower we're having trouble with....cant slide it toward the driver side enough

         to get it to come out of the "tower"....

     I'll take pictures tonite & get them posted........the floorboard (s?) has been out since day one, now we talking about removing the

     very top floorboard piece to allow access to the starter pedal mounting bracket....3 bolts & move the whole mess to the drivers side....maybe

Thank you for your thoughts


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here's a pic of the Drivers side of the problem shaft.....

the smallest circle shows the boss that I was hoping this problem shaft would provrude out of

after I loosened a (pinch bolt?) that I was hoping would allow free left/right movement....it didn't

the oblong circular marking shows the 3/8 extensions,,universal & 1/2 " socket we used to loosed it

the largest oblong circle shows the clear filter we installed after the vacuum tank......

more to follow shortly

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Remove the two bolts that hold the shaft bracket on the drivers side, if there are two bolts on the other side holding


 a similar bracket to the starter idler gear cover remove those also, ( 22 has 4 bolts, 2 on each side that holds


  the cross shaft to the back of the engine), you should be able to move the cross shaft more to the drivers side.



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gpdc,   I can,t understand why you need  to remove that  tower.  If your able to depress the starter pedal and that shaft is turning  and the gears are engaging onto the flywheel, and the gear disengaging when the pedal is released, there is no need to remove it.  That one way gear (clutch) is meant  to only engage in one direction, and spin in the other direction,  you should be able to turn it with you finger in the other direction.

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Rod.....that gearset is not driving the flywheel......full foot pedal starter engagement results only in the s/g's pinion gear freely spinning at high speed while NOT turning the motor over.......we're thinking we've a damaged one-way clutch/bearing that's not engaging........and that MAY have come about from an advanced timing condition......not sure yet

Is the above picture of your gearset for a right hand drive car?


jbbuick22: yup.....that's our conclusion......the '25's starter pedal crosshaft brackets are a little different, essentially it looks like we're going to be doing just what you suggest.......we'll see.....I'll report in........


I think the advanced timing returned to the starting gear an opposite rotation force.....while it was cranking at engine starting speed.......and (maybe) destroyed the surface the one way clutch bearings engage for starting......

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Here's a pic of some of the things that we've done to this car.....mostly to stop the orange glowy exhaust mainfold problem......all of the exhaust manifold shown here was glowing orange within a couple of minutes of start up.....now, about 700 F is max that we've seen so far with out leaving the driveway.

Moving from left to right:

   The vertical silver shiny thing is a piece of 1/8" dia. tig rod bent & installed to keep the exhaust butterfly in the manifold/exhaust pipe junction open.

   The shiny plate plate behind the updraft intake casting is a piece of stainless that is serving as an exhaust blocking plate.

   The airvalve/dashpot mounting block.....a pot metal piece.....was distorted/warped & swollen.....it was machined square & carefully so that now the air valve blade just rests against the throttle bore in the static position.....previous to this work, it was upwards of 1/4" open.....anybody familiar with this problem will recognize what I'm talking about.....careful removal & being machine square fixes it.

  In another post here in prewar, we found mention of (2) different gas metering jet lengths that were both used in this carb & model year (thank you Marvel !)....this is the long small dia. needle with a taper on the end that is linked to and moves with the throttle and allows fuel enrichment somewhat porportional to throttle position.......using the existing link we had (from the throttle linkage) and the metering jet that was in the car, at "0" throttle opening this jet was positioned up & off its' internal seat somewhere around 3/16" or so......which we think was contributing the fuel flooding condition......NOT the internal fuel bowl float which seems good especially after we resealed it.....so.....I made the 'lil brass connector barrel that you see with the (2) cotter pins sticking out & now, at idle, that metering rod is down just touching the internal jet & starts to move up with the throttles' movement.

  The carb float chamber cover looks too thick because it's a clear polycarbonate piece we made & installed for diagnostic purposes.

  We've yet to re assemble the complete vacuum tank assembly & simply manually fill the firewall tank for our setup & testing requirements.......adding a clear filter (for visual fuel flow) below the tanks' shut off valve was also a good thing........

  The float bowl fuel level is set to 1/16" below the top of the low speed jet tube which is internal to the carb........

On the opposite side of the engine bay.....the original coil, points & condenser were all replaced with parts from Bob's....and now the plugs show spark very consistantly.......Bob was very helpful with that.

  The timing remains a sticking point......partly because the spark advance/retard linkage only allows about half of the total available due to slop & wear in the many linkage connectors & the teeth in the gear segment underneath the steering column that drives it all are well worn....

I'm thinking now that maybe the initial service manual setting of 7 degrees ATDC is correct and may be required for starting gear longevity & then, once running, you manually advance it as required.......we've a ways to go on that point, fixing the broken gearset is #1 toward that.........

all comments/suggestions/critiques/other are welcome!


OOPS......just added the picture after this....next page, I think

Edited by gpdc (see edit history)
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gpdc,  It may be easier to remove the complete starter pedal unit,  that starter shaft that you have the vice grips attached to doesn,t  just slide out, there is a clamp bolt inside attaching the selector fork , which can only be reached with the unit out of the car.  Before removing the whole unit I would check if the starter pedal is moving the cluster gear back and forward, sometimes they don,t properly engage you have to turn the gears with your hand  ( Thats with the ignition turned off ).  Check that the small gear from the starter motor isn,t spinning on its shaft.  I have one that has been welded on to stop it turning.  




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Rod.....we thank for the time & the staged pictures of the components we're working with.......

         "Check that the small gear from the starter motor isn't spinning on its shaft"..........I can say that I saw the small s/g

gear (pinion gear) turning at the high speed you might expect with no drive going to the flywheel and the starter pedal fully engaged

so as to bring the starter brush into contact with its' armature......

again...thank you......we'll pull the whole assembly this week & report back.....

what do you think of my advanced timing theory as to the cause of this ?

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Inside the clutch ( gear ) pic.   There would be a keyway holding the fork (selector )  maybe that has sheared off , so the selector isn,t moving the gears.  When you turn on the ignition the starter generator is turning slowly ( motoring ).  It isn,t until you press the starter pedal and this gear is engaged and the starter brushes are engaged that the starter spins quickly, unless the adjustment for starter brushes was out and it was operating as a starter before the gears were engaged.  Pic 2 shows this arm that can be adjusted along its shaft for  starter brushes.  To make a long story short, I don,t  think  advancing the timing would effect this clutch / gear.  



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  • 1 month later...

hey guys.....new info update.....we just got to the problem with the starter/gear assembly not engaging the flywheel correctly (or at all, actually) tonite....and...great sadness......26 teeth had been destroyed on the ring gear.....probably from bumping the initial (starting) timing ever upward............

so....now the fix sets in......anybody know for sure the total # of flywheel teeth...it's either 118 or 120 I think......anybody know for positive we need only replace the ring gear?.........the shaft that the actual (sliding) starter gears ride on won't budge after removing that large cotter pin....why?.......how best to remove tranny to get at the flywheel?

All thoughts & ideas are welcome...!! 

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If the car is over heating, the easiest thing to check is the timing.    


My experience is that if the car has been sitting a long time, the radiator needs to be roded out and the tanks cleaned.    Do not let the guy soak the core  in any solution overnight.  It may eat through any weak spots in the tubes.  Just dip it in and take it out or leave it in long enough to check for leaks.

Also, they always want to paint the core black.  That is wrong.  They should be natural solder color. Tell them before they start not to paint it.


I would have the radiator checked before taking off the water pump.



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 Thank you for your thoughts........I THINK we're now past the overheating condition.....here's why: the "dashpot" air/valve was stopping nearly a 1/4" short of fully closing......its' pot metal mounting block inside the intake bore above the throttle plate was swollen & distorted preventing the proper closing position.......we CAREFULLY machined that pot metal block all back square & perpendicular, reworked the valves' integral closing stopper & now the air valve just touches the full bore as the stop meets the pot metal block......in part, we think that eliminated the orange glowy exhaust manifold we'd see all too soon after starting the engine......WHEN we could get it started, that is.......

A bunch of new ignition parts from Bob's were installed & we're getting closer & closer to having a real car as Buick intended.......

  This sheared off flywheel teeth thing is, of course another bump in the road & we'll get past it....

  Bob's Automobilia says all we need do is to pop the ring gear off the flywheel , flip it around & re-install it & that sounded real good so that's where we're at now. 

 Been quite an adventure so far........


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There is no thermostat until 1927.   One possibility is to put one in the water hose from the water pipe on the head to the radiator inlet.  I would not do that, or worry about adding a thermostat until everything else is working properly.


Regarding overheating:  Before anything, check the timing again.  That is the easiest thing to do.  If you do not have a shop manual, I can send you the information on how to do it on a 1927.  It should be similar enough if not the same as 1925.   I think I have a copy of the 1927 shop manual on a CD.  If you think it will help, I will look for it.    Anyone else reading this that wants a copy, e-mail me at the address below.


My experience is that after the car (1927 and 1928 Buicks) has sat for a long time, the sediment plugs up the tubes in the radiator.  These radiators have hollow tubes that can be cleaned by the radiator shop.   It is a job getting the radiator back on the frame but ---.,


Two caveats:  1)   Do not let them soak the core in cleaning solution.  It will eat through any weak spots and cause leaks.  Just in and out and in long enough to check for leaks.      2)  They all want to paint the core black.  That is not correct.  It should be natural solder color. On top of that, I do not want any insulating factor that could come from the paint, no mater how minimal it is.


fred.rawling@live.com    Send me an e-mail if you need copies or have more questions.



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Sorry for the duplicate response.  I fell asleep at the computer.  


Bob has a 1925.  He should know what he is talking about. 


The clearance between the block in the carburetor and the air to the block should be .005 inch.  Repros are available from Tony Blut.  He is listed in the Bugle as technical adviser for 1929 Buicks.



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There is a 1924 flywheel on eBay right now. Buy it now price $89.95. Gotta believe it would work for your 25. The seller gives the part numbers on the flywheel for you to compare. Notice, the ring gear is not removable, it's cut right into the flywheel.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-1920s-Buick-1924-6-Cylinder-Engine-1219407-Fly-Wheel-165438-2-/111755990138?hash=item1a052d147a&vxp=mtr

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I checked my 1924 and 1925 parts books and it shows different part numbers.  I checked my 1933 Master parts book and it shows the 24 and 25 master 6 with the same part number and the casting number 155438 while the one for sale has 165438.  That looks like a 1924 6 cyl so I would say it's the same. 

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hey guys...thanks for the input........we've got some time constraint/family stuff going (the owner is MIA on his 55 th anniversary) right now otherwise we'da probably have it (the flywheel) out by now.....been looking at the rear end relocation thing & on the face of it, it really don't look too bad...........

I got it from Bob (I guess) @ Automobilia that the standard service manual fix for that flywheel in that car bad teeth is to pop it off (w/heat) & flip it........I can tell you for sure the ring gear is wide enough to support that....we just gotta get it out & see for ourselves.........

Bob....if you're reading this, the timing & throttle gearset segments came in today & look beautiful.....I can't WAIT to get them in there & see what's what with the increased distributor travel......and, once again, thanks for the related info.

George P

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  • 4 weeks later...

update on flywheel problem:

   who'd ever thought a simple flywheel pull could ever be so involved.....................

was it the Chevy Vega that needed its' engine lifted to get at the rear plug(s) ?

HA HA.......this '25 has got that beat all to hell.......

long story short....we're going to need this flywheel repaired or replaced....

Anybody have any good ideas about how we should go about doing that?

(there is no ring gear.....the teeth are cut into the solid of the flywheel).......

can we just buy a ring gear with the correct # of teeth (or close), turn the flywheel diameter

   as required on a lathe & shrink the new piece on?

also too.......the flywheel is too large in diameter to come right straight out of the :bellhousing,

even after dropping the lower guard......looks like both the (drained) oil pan and the rear main

bearing cap need to come off......the main bearing cap traps the flywheel bolts so that they won't

push back far enough to allow the flywheel to drop right straight down........

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Your best bet is to pick up another flywheel,  shorly some one has one, put a wanted add in the buy and sell of this forum.  You must already  have the gear box and clutch out, So It looks like you will have to support the engine under the sump so you can remove the rear engine mounts and the lower flywheel bell housing.  I have never removed a flywheel from a master engine,  but looking at  a spare engine I have,  this looks to be the only way.  The standard six is different to the master whereby the lower bell housing can be removed without removing the rear engine mounts.

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 as always, thank you for the input....you've been a great help to us on this project....as has everybody else who's posted here with info for us.....thank you all......

We have the rear of the engine supported on both sides very well.

That allowed removing the lower bell housing/flywheel guard & frame to engine motor mounts.

I'm remined of a jig saw puzzle by all this........just to pull the flywheel.

I'd been so easy if the designers' had opened the flywheel clearance diameter(s) just 3/8 of an inch.

The flywheel bolts will not push back far enough to let it (the flywheel) drop right straight down as their

   heads contact the rear main bearing cap on the bottom and the back of the engine block on the top,

   and they need to be removed to allow the flywheel to drop down.

Today we'll decide whether we need to drop the oil pad or not....can't really tell if that rear main bearing cap extends under the pan or not.

FLASH: Buick refers to the oil pan as the "Lower Crankcase".........and clearly tells you to remove it.....no mention of the rear main bearing cap.

so methinks that will be todays' project............

Pics will follow...........

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The oil pan and the rear main cap will have to be removed to drop the flywheel down. I assume you have pulled the rear axle back and removed the transmission and clutch. I would also inspect the sliding gear/1 way clutch assembly for damage as tht could wreak a good flywheel. Your starter generator must be working properly for engagement speed of the gears. I may have available a serviceable flywheel.post-102972-0-85620500-1445171908_thumb.post-102972-0-71798800-1445171925_thumb.


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Your flywheel sure looks better than ours!!

and thank you  for the pictures !....

I'm going to the car in less than an hour to finish pulling it out of the car.

We'll get back to you shortly after that.....

where are you ?

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