JohnD1956

72 Electra, aka "The Queen"

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ttt.  Getting ready for another installment.  Been some screeching from the rear brakes this time.  Parts will be here tomorrow.  Did not realize the forum lost some of my older pictures.  Going to try and repost them when the season changes.  Meanwhile while getting the annual State inspection looky what showed up in the next lift.   The guys in the garage were lovin this opportunity to gawk.

1496434009_electrawithwildcat.thumb.jpg.24dad5cd197756f90c07cc264e005e45.jpg

 

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11 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

 Meanwhile while getting the annual State inspection looky what showed up in the next lift.   The guys in the garage were lovin this opportunity to gawk.

1496434009_electrawithwildcat.thumb.jpg.24dad5cd197756f90c07cc264e005e45.jpg

 

Wow!  What are the chances?  You must live a a great town with residents of great taste.

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It does seem that Buicks have enjoyed a surge in popularity locally.  But it may just be that more old cars, in general ,are coming to market lately.

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4 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

It does seem that Buicks have enjoyed a surge in popularity locally.  But it may just be that more old cars, in general ,are coming to market lately.

 

very nice . did you get to chat to the guy ? 

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5 hours ago, Magic marouke said:

 

very nice . did you get to chat to the guy ? 

 

I had a short conversation with him.  He is a new owner.  Bought it last year at the Saratoga Auto museum's first auction.  Can't say much else about it.  It looks great, and sounds very powerful too.  It is very showy.  One thing he did say was; It is very thirsty!   lol.. For that reason and a few others  I chuckled when I was asked if I'd swap the Queen for it. 

 

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Regardless of the stormy weather forecast I dove into the rear brakes today.  Since I am not fond of squeezing between the car and the little bit of space around it in the garage, I put a pop-up in the driveway and pulled under it for some protection.  

2025056641_81719Electrarearbrakes0005.thumb.JPG.8b77b3ff4db2288fb60249553a505c31.JPG

 

Man this car is lonnngggg!  

 

Anyway, jacked er up and removed the pass side tire and then struggled with the drum.  Just would not come off, so I  poked  around the backing plate for the adjuster hole to find none.  What?  I was completely surprised to discover the plug for the adjuster hole had never been removed.  I figured this spelled trouble for the brake drums, which are so clean you can still read the part numbers without any wire brushing. 

 

So, I popped out the one adjuster plug hole and backed off the adjuster a number of turns.  And when I got the drum off I found this!

 

381178859_81719Electrarearbrakes0006.thumb.JPG.89e7bde341b281cf49034f1f04e84819.JPG

 

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Sweet biscuits.  Those shoes look brand new!  No point in changing them, unless the other side needs to be replaced.   But the plan was to do one brakes and shock absorber on one side at a time.  Enter plan "B".    removed the tire and that drum just pulled off with out a problem and I found this:

 

224719078_81719Electrarearbrakes0015.thumb.JPG.5ca6915cd5a298a2ebd01b40009897e8.JPG

 

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So I held up a new shoe to one of these and the material seemed to be very close in thickness.  Measuring each rivet hole I found the bottoms of the drivers side a little thinner but the rest of the thickness were identical at:

 

1288309318_81719Electrarearbrakes0011.thumb.JPG.f075a327246fa0cfe044d2558f5d0971.JPG

 

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And both brake drums are smooth finish with no gouges. 

 

1003359426_81719Electrarearbrakes0009.thumb.JPG.b30f9fa5acf13516fba53e5d1aea6f4e.JPG

 

I cannot believe these are the original brakes.  The car has 107K on it now.   Must have been a very competent person who put these brakes on to do so without the use of the adjuster hole. 

 

 So, the new shoes are going onto the parts shelf for this car.  Since I did remove the adjuster plug on the pass side I also removed the one on the drivers side.  Then I slipped the drums back on and tackled the shocks.  

 

At this point it was starting to cloud up and I thought I heard a little thunder so I did not stop to take pictures.  The bottom bolts came off with the strong tug I expected.  The tops are, of course, bolts and nuts.  Naturally the side with the exhaust was very tight.  After numerous tries I had to squeeze my arm between the exhaust pipe and the gas tank and then lay on my side to reach the bolts on the top side of the frame.  I was concerned about how I would get the nuts started again with the new shocks, but the fasteners separated without much ado.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that starting the fasteners was no problem at all,  and they both started the first shot and tightened up easily.  Then I did the drivers side which was super easy as there was a lot of space without an exhaust pipe there.  

 

So that is done.  Didn't get a test ride as I just put everything away before the sky drew dark and the thunder was unmistakable.  Thing is, it never did rain.   But I'll take it to church tomorrow,  and then go see if this  resolved the slight vibration I had at 60 MPH.

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

see if this  resolved the slight vibration I had at 60 MPH.

 

John, I'll be surprised if new shocks fix the vibration.  If what you're feeling is a vibration in the seat of your pants at 55 ~ 60 mph I'll bet the issue is a dry/failing U-joint.  That's precisely the symptom I had on Goldie when I found 2 bad joints.  The one at the transmission was noticeably 'notchy' when I flexed it by hand with the driveshaft on the ground.  That was back in June.

 

https://forums.aaca.org/topic/328535-67-riviera-driveshaft-cv-joints/

 

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago and don't I feel the same sort of vibration at 55 mph in my Silverado.  Upon closer inspection, one of the rear U-joint bearing cups was rusted-up and full of dry, rusty powder.  In both cases, replaced the bad joints and they're each smooth as glass at 60 mph now.  So, I suggest you inspect your driveshaft.  I'm not sure, but I'll bet it's a 2-piece shaft with CV joints and a center bearing like my Riviera.  I was able to fix mine, but plan on a full day's work (or maybe a weekend) depending on how easily everything comes apart.  The shop manual is your friend in this case!  ;)

Edited by EmTee (see edit history)
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49 minutes ago, EmTee said:

 

John, I'll be surprised if new shocks fix the vibration.  If what you're feeling is a vibration in the seat of your pants at 55 ~ 60 mph I'll bet the issue is a dry/failing U-joint.  

 

Thanks Em Tee.  That was the first thing I thought of.  But I have inspected the drive shaft, and had it inspected as well, and the consensus is the unit is ok.  I had a similar situation in my last '78 wagon.  Replaced a bunch of stuff and in the end found a leaking shock and replacement fixed the issue.  The right rear shock on the Electra was leaking, so this time I am starting there with a known defect, before throwing a bunch of money into other parts.  But I am not throwing out the possibility that there may be a bad u joint in the drive line. 

 

Luckily the 72 does not have a CV joint in the middle of the drive shaft.  It has a front U joint and then a pair of rear u joints in a coupling. All are available, if needed.  But before going to that I will be rotating the tires to make sure it's not one of them either. The vibration is present in a really narrow speed band.  60 -70 mph.  And it does smooth out after a while.  So it could be a slipped belt in a tire.  But at least I will know it is not the shocks. 

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If it's a really minor vibration, I have noticed it on most of my big cars of this vintage.  It's almost just a resonance, and not so much a vibration.  Does that make sense?

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9 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

I will be rotating the tires to make sure it's not one of them either

 

That was my next suggestion.  Did they pull the shaft to check the joints, or just look for excess movement?  Both of the shafts in my vehicles looked OK, except the rear Riviera joint showed some movement.  That said, I think it was the forward joint on Goldie that was the source of vibration.  It looked fine in the car, but was noticeably 'notchy' feeling when I moved it around by hand.  The pictures in my CV Thread show the roller wear marks in the spiders that I believe were responsible for the vibration I felt.

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@EmTee No, we did not pull the drive shaft out to inspect it.  It could still be the source.  

@Smartin I don't think it is resonance. But I have experienced that before and know what you mean. This is a vibration. 

 

To go a little more into details,  this car has two Toyo tires on it that are dated in 2007.  The previous owner put matching new ones on it in late 2013, just before I bought it.  When I switched to the chromed rally wheels, the two new ones took more weight than the two older ones and we put the older ones on the front.  Since 2014 Toyo no longer makes that model tire.  They have brought out a new model, which,  in some online reviews, seemed to be susceptible to broken belts in the 2014-2015 years.  There have been no complaints about that in reviews since then, and it was a different model tire,  but the dates sort of coincide which makes me think it may be the problem with my car.  The drive shaft rotates freely with no stutter or play in any of the 3 universals while it is mounted in the car.  And that is with the wheels at max extension on a two post lift.  So, while it still could be a universal, I am not yet ready to go that route when I may be facing the possibility of 4 new tires.  A little more investigation is in order but,  I know I had a bad shock in the back.  I know the front shocks are good.  And I know this was the problem with that '78 Wagon.  So I'll test drive today and see if this was the correction.  

 

In addition to all this, I am keeping in mind that this could be a front end geometry issue.  The car did not do this when we brought it home from Oregon.  And I did not really notice this till last summer.  But it may have started when I put those heavy duty coil springs in the back and the car now sits lower in the front.  New front springs and an alignment are on the "to do" list.  But I wasted all my funds on that steering wheel, and now it looks like I have found some eye candy for the GS that I really want. 

 

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John, perhaps a little test. Assuming a spare is nestled in the trunk.  Try changing out with another tire, test, repeat.  May eliminate tires. Or confirm.

 

  Ben

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Old tires are for museum display.

The only way to check that driveshaft is to remove it and even then the CV joint may need to be disassembled and inspected.  If that car has the original glued-in universal joints, take it to a driveline shop and have it rebuilt and balanced.  Don't do this at home and don't take it to a local who will use a press to remove the glued universals...they will ruin it!  

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Well, the shocks helped immensely, but still have the vibration.  Definitely feel it in the steering wheel, not the seat,  Got a poor start today so no rotating tires.  @Ben Bruce aka First Born great idea with the spare tire.  But I don't think I'd trust the one I have to go 60 mph!  It is an old snow tire which had studs ( I pulled em out)  and I hadn't even thought of that thing till you just mentioned it.  I am going to get 5 tires when I do that task.  

If no change with the rotation then I will pull the drive shaft.  

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4 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

Definitely feel it in the steering wheel, not the seat,

 

OK, then I agree you're on the right track with wheels/tires.  When you get the chance try swapping front to rear one side at a time and see whether the vibration moves with a wheel.

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Okay, two new tires coming up.  After rotating just the passengers side tires the vibration is gone.  So I'll be into new tires to replace those 2007 ones.  Sure glad it's not the driveshaft at this point.  

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New tires installed. Back to a smooth Buick ride.  Just in time for a trip on the agenda  this weekend.  Did ask the garage to start reserving a space or two for the big cars.

0827191154.thumb.jpg.61088efeabe420f07e9d2a7745ff686f.jpg

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