WhipperSnapper

Saving Grace

Recommended Posts

I thought that it would best to start a new thread documenting Grace's restoration from start to finish. It has finally begun!!! :D

Yesterday, a few friends and I spent about seven hours taking the car apart and tagging parts. Three of these guys are aviation mechanics for Delta, so they made pretty quick work of the disassembly. Grace is now down to the frame! I spent a few hours today cleaning off decades worth of grime from the frame and around the engine. The degreasing turned out well enough for the effort that was exerted.

I've found a chrome shop and plan to drop off those bits for replating later this week. The body will be prepped for paint as and when I can find the time. We did find some rust on the front floor pans, which will need to be cut out and re-welded. I am hoping to get that done sometime before the end of July. The frame appears to be in excellent shape, so it just needs to be sandblasted, painted, and rebuilt. I'm hoping to have most of the frame work done by the end of July, but that may be a bit ambitious.

Before Pics (link from my previous post):

http://s778.photobucket.com/user/jos...0Buick%20Super

The work that we did yesterday and today's degreasing:

http://s778.photobucket.com/user/josephlong757/slideshow/Saving%20Grace

There is a massive amount of work on the horizon, but I feel like we're off to a good start. :)

Edited by WhipperSnapper
Typos (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look forward to seeing how it goes. Don't be afraid of giving us too many photos. The manuals are nice, but to see what things really look like is something else... Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GREAT Photobucket pictures!! and Man oh man, y'all got a lot done in 1 day. That was a lot of guys, good to have that many friends, and mechanics at that. Only one thing I noticed was missing, uhhh, where was the beer?

But I would feel remiss if I didn't mention this and please don't be offended. I was sincerely glad to see you got the car back down off the concrete blocks and on the dolly before one of the blocks collapsed. The structural integrity of a concrete block is in it's vertical walls. It is reduced to almost nothing when laid flat or when you concentrate a load in a small area of the concrete bridging the horizontal webs such as I see in a couple of your pictures. I use concrete blocks to store my parts cars on and have people ask all the time "Oh My God, you don't work under those cars up on blocks do you?" My reply is "well yea, I figure concrete blocks hold up my house, won't they hold up a car?" What they don't know though is that I typically use 12 inch blocks and I have leveled the ground underneath each block with a 2 ft level and use a 2x8 board on top of the block that the car frame will be resting on. My preference is actually 2 ft long 6x6's instead of concrete. I once used a 6 inch concrete block turned sideways under a trailer tongue jack and it failed while jacking up the trailer.

Saying all this just in case there might be one person out there that isn't aware. I don't mean to hijack your thread and again please don't think I am criticizing your technique of getting the car up and back down onto the dolly. I thought it was quite some engineering.

Hey, I'm only an hour and a half away, let me know if you ever need help. (like the services of a concrete block structural engineer);):rolleyes:;) Look forward to following your restoration!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...please don't think I am criticizing your technique of getting the car up and back down onto the dolly.

There was very little technique in this madness! The photos make the process look a lot more organized than it actually was. We tried a few things that didn't work and improvised when needed. An example of this can be seen in the photos of the rear springs being compressed with straps and the frame rolling out on the rear drums. We did all that work lifting only to find that there was not enough clearance. :o

In hindsight, I agree with you on the concrete blocks. We got lucky that they held as well as they did. The 2x4's also proved too weak to gain significant leverage between the frame and body, so we probably should have gone with thicker boards. Also, the casters on the wooden body frame are only rated at 450 lbs. each, so we had to redistribute the weight as the back two were beginning to warp. These do the job, but heavier duty wheels would have been nice.

The method that we used was cheap, relatively quick, and it did ultimately work. No one got hurt and we had enough folks around to keep eyes on potential issues and stabalize the body as it was being lifted and lowered. I would not try this with less than five people and I would certainly not attempt this in a hurry. Removing the body from the frame took quite a while. The shop crane was a big help also.

The beer was intentionally put away until the heavy lifting was done. We didn't want anyone losing focus and getting hurt. After it was all done, we grilled up a steak dinner and polished off a case (or two?) of beer. It was a nice way to end the day. :)

I'm still shocked at how much we were able to get done in just 7 hours. After this, I will never attempt to take a car apart by myself again. This is definitely the way to do it! The same group is coming back to help reassemble once paint, chrome, etc. are done. Having help like this really speeds things along. I figure there's no reason we can't have this all done by Fall IF the money holds out. I think it's all going to come down to the cost of paint and whether or not I decide to take it on myself or farm it out. I'm still debating that.

My wife did her masters at UGA, so I know the route to Athens quite well. It'd be great to get together at some point and we could even break out the beer, assuming there are no concrete blocks and 2x4's involved. :P

Edited by WhipperSnapper
typos (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice Thread, finally when the body is separated from the frame you see what has to be done to do it right . :rolleyes:

have fun and keep your pictures posted .

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, progress has slowed on the Buick since the initial tear down. My wife and I embarked on an extensive home remodel this summer and that zapped most of my will to tinker in the garage. Now that it's done, work on Grace has resumed.

After the initial tear down, the frame was pressure washed and moved to the shop. The body was placed on a wooden frame and rolled into the main garage. Large "soft" interior items (seats, door panels, etc.) were wrapped in plastic and put into storage. All body panels and chrome was labeled and put into storage. Everything else was bagged, tagged, and organized in plastic bins for later inspection and cleaning.

post-101267-143142863364_thumb.jpg

The next step was to remove the engine and transmission from the frame. This was a relatively straight forward process but there were a few glitches. The pressure washing had removed most of the grime but degreasing was still a major chore. A few of the bolts, especially those attaching the manifold, were tough to remove. Some PB Blaster took care of most but a couple did break off and required a great deal of patience to remove.

I decided to remove the engine and transmission separately and solicited the help of a friend to keep swinging on the crane to a minimum. The engine came out easy but did not fit well on the stand. The block is very long and the stand flexed too much for comfort under the engine's full weight. We decided to improvise with cement blocks and 2x4's to insure that the set-up was stable.

post-101267-143142863384_thumb.jpg

The DynaFlow was removed and set aside. We'll tackle it after the engine is rebuilt.

post-101267-143142863387_thumb.jpg

With the engine securely on it's stand, it was time to remove the top end. I was surprised at the amount of grime and dried sludge that I saw as I got into it. I didn't find any obvious damage, but a lot of degreasing will be required before any real inspection can take place.

post-101267-143142863397_thumb.jpg

The improvised engine stand was not going to allow safe removal of the oil pan, so I decided to stand the engine up vertically and pull the timing cover, sprockets, chain, and oil pan. Getting the engine safely up-right was a chore. Here, you can see the grime behind the timing cover and on the chain / sprockets. Nasty!

post-101267-143142863403_thumb.jpg

And now, for the oil pan removal. The sludge was 3/4 of an inch thick at the lowest point in the pan!

post-101267-143142863416_thumb.jpg

Here is the bottom end of the motor with the pan removed.

post-101267-14314286342_thumb.jpg

The engine was then carefully turned upside down and the crankshaft was removed. The crankshaft bearings have seen better days but the crankshaft itself looks to be fine.

post-101267-143142863372_thumb.jpg

post-101267-143142863376_thumb.jpg

post-101267-14314286338_thumb.jpg

post-101267-143142863391_thumb.jpg

post-101267-143142863395_thumb.jpg

post-101267-143142863399_thumb.jpg

post-101267-143142863401_thumb.jpg

post-101267-143142863412_thumb.jpg

post-101267-143142863414_thumb.jpg

post-101267-143142863418_thumb.jpg

post-101267-143142863422_thumb.jpg

post-101267-143142863423_thumb.jpg

post-101267-143142863425_thumb.jpg

Edited by WhipperSnapper (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

post-101267-14314286343_thumb.jpg

And with that, we're pretty much up to date. In addition to the above, the frame has also been stripped of the exhaust, brake booster, brake lines, fuel lines, and steering components. I hope to have the block completely disassembled this weekend. After that, I'll begin degreasing and inspecting the individual parts.

post-101267-143142863428_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I pulled one engine, a friend of mine had a stand made for tank engines it seemed. It hardly flexed. Next time on a different motor, I had to do it on the ground or a metal table. those suckers can trash a stand in a hurry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A tank engine stand is probably what I needed! Of all the things I was expecting, I did not even consider that the engine might not fit safely on the stand. Oops. :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had the experience of Buick straight 8 engines mounted on different engine stands and also the bending and breaking of some of the stands. No deaths or serious injuries but very scary. Seems that I saw a cradle style stand advertised years ago now for the inline motors but I can't remember the name of it to even start looking for one. Has anyone else seen a cradle type stand for these type motors?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I've been making a parts list using the Bob's Automobilia catalog. Are there any other parts sources that you guys would recommend? I'm mainly using Bob's for the convenience of the catalog and haven't really been doing my due diligence checking pricing and reading reviews from other sources. Are there any parts sources out there that I should be wary of?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked at a Buick dealership that opened in 1912. They had some of the old equipment stored in the parts department. The engine stand looked as if it could support an entire new car. It was massive. You turned a crank to rotate the engine on the stand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello fellow Buick enthusiasts! Ready for a long-overdue update!? ^_^

 

So, the frame is completely stripped now and ready to be sand blasted! There is some damage from a past fender bender that will need to be addressed but, aside from that, she is in great shape. Sand blasting has been put on hold until my F-250 is back from the shop.  :rolleyes:

 

post-143460-0-33481500-1440952930_thumb.

 

post-143460-0-57281300-1440952953_thumb.

 

post-143460-0-16528300-1440952966_thumb.

 

 

Things were moving slowly there for a bit, so I decided to go ahead and send the radio off to be restored. The work was done by Bob's Radio & TV in Oceano, CA and they did a fabulous job! FM and AUX was added but you'd never know by the look of it.

 

Before (coke can for scale):

post-143460-0-33397800-1440953203_thumb.

 

After:

post-143460-0-97504700-1440953233_thumb.

 

AUX Input:

post-143460-0-75770200-1440953258_thumb.

 

Bob's sends back the bad parts for your review. There were so many! No wonder the radio didn't work. :P

post-143460-0-27836800-1440953318_thumb.

 

 

I've also been working on the body and have made some interesting discoveries in the process. One of the previous owners refreshed the interior and in the process, apparently found some pesky rust. Rather than properly repair the floor pans, he cut up old street signs and riveted them down! I spent several hours pulling them up and scraping off the duct tape (YES! DUCT TAPE!) that he used to cover the edges. I was shocked to find such a mess hiding under that beautiful interior. :(

 

post-143460-0-41824400-1440953839_thumb.

 

post-143460-0-76805900-1440953852_thumb.

 

The rust goes deep. All four floor pans will need to be replaced.

 

post-143460-0-12457500-1440953910_thumb.

 

post-143460-0-02720200-1440953923_thumb.

 

post-143460-0-57100100-1440953936_thumb.

 

 

I have also spent a lot of time cleaning, tagging, and bagging hardware. While it's not the most exciting part of a restoration, it's very gratifying to see the shiny old parts ready for another 64+ years of service! :D

 

post-143460-0-23343500-1440954109_thumb.

 

 

More to come soon!

Edited by WhipperSnapper (see edit history)
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was hoping that someone could tell me the trick to removing the pistons from the block. They don't seem to clear and the shop manual is not helpful.  :huh:

Edited by WhipperSnapper (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Great progress.

 

  To remove the pistons will probably require a ridge reamer. A tool which fits into the top of the cyl and removes the ridge at the top. One can usually be rented for the job. The piston will then slide right out.

 

  Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Great progress.

 

  To remove the pistons will probably require a ridge reamer. A tool which fits into the top of the cyl and removes the ridge at the top. One can usually be rented for the job. The piston will then slide right out.

 

  Ben

Ben is right.  Any of the big-box auto stores will rent you one for about $20-$30 dollars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm hoping that someone can shed some light on the original color of rear differential housings. Most of the original restorations that I've seen show them painted black but mine appears to have been red at some point. :unsure:

 

 

 

 

post-143460-0-92749000-1443386559_thumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

in your very first post you said you found a chrome shop and took parts there. would you care to give out the name and where it is. thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try Dallas Chrome in Dallas, GA. I received several references prior to contacting them. You can also try Custom Plating in Snellville, GA. Both shops came highly recommended.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now