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1939 cowl vent assembly help


39BuickEight
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Hi there folks. My original car did not have any of the ducts or other mechanisms needed to work the cowl vent. It just had the handle and the vent. My parts car looked like it had it all, but it didn't actually work. I'm not sure if someone was in the same situation I am in, but it seemed like it must have been linked up incorrectly. Well, after a few tries, we still can't seen to get it to go together correctly. Any pointers from you guys who might have played with one before? What part is supposed to pivot, and where exactly does the bar end to that attached to the vent?

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You don't need any ducts for the cowl vent to work. The ducts are only used when you have windshield defrosters hooked up to the heater. I am speaking of the best heater. If they are hooked up the cowl vent air has to go through the heater which limits the air in my opinion. There is an L-shaped knob on the heater itself which will turn off the defrosters and direct all of the air. Defroster equipped cars have a plate on the bottom of the cowl vent for the ducts to hook to. Without that option, there is no plate on the bottom of the cowl vent assembly.

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You have the Deluxe heater....I think they call it the Air-Flow heater or something like that. The defrosters were connected by ducting to this heater. Locate the lever on the heater at the opening where the air duct connects to it. If you have the panel on the bottom of the air vent that the ducts hook to there are instuctions as to how to get cool air on your feet. There are two positions on the vent that push it up all the way or half way. I can't remember this morning which position puts the air through the heater and which one puts the air on your feet. I'll have to ask my friend who restored the car 40 years ago and lives next door. I think it is all the way up to put air on your feet and half way up to put it through the heater and the leaver on the heater is used to put all of the air to the defrosters or to the heater.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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Allan sent me that! Everyone is so helpful!

A somewhat but not really related heater question...would it be wrong to take the data plate off of my wrecked car and put it on my good car? The good car had some odd heater, and they installed the lines right through the data plate, so it's halfway useless.

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The 1939 Buick Parts and Service Bulletins book has a bulletin describing how to install and adjust the vent and its operating mechanism. Since you have a 1939 car, a copy of the book would be a great addition to your library. I can't scan the pages but if you think this would help I could copy and mail them to you. Bob H

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Billy, I have a few body tags for my beast and I'll be picking the ones I want to use from the bunch I've collected over the years.

It's a question of just how fanatical you are but it will get picked by the obsessive if the colour code is different to the end colour.

I believe this was going to be the case anyway with the original plate, so what the hey.

Danny

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Bob H graciously sent me the cowl vent assembly info pages from the 1939 Buick Parts and Service Bulletin, and that helps, but it does not show the exact assembly order of parts for the linkage in the pic below. I have a bolt with 2 different shoulder sizes, 2 star-type washers, 2 different sized spacers, and the nut. We can't for the life of us get it all together where it will still move. Any further assistance is greatly appreciated. The problem is figuring out where the spacers and washers go.

399E8880-6DD3-4526-BB0F-942D56C9645B_zpsobzrrgqt.jpg

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Had a look at mine and it seems to be the same but set up for RHD.

There are quite a few points of movement in the system, each being a little sticky and tight all adds up.

I guess the first thing to check is that the transfer bar going through the brackets is free to move.

Disconnect the bar connecting the vent control/adjusting lever under the dash that goes to the transfer bar by removing the bolt and washers and remove the rod on the other side that goes up to the vent hood. Check that the transfer bar rotates and moves smooth and freely.

<a href="http://s44.photobucket.com/user/AllyPheeb/media/IMG_2038_zps7f2e7c92.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2/AllyPheeb/IMG_2038_zps7f2e7c92.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_2038_zps7f2e7c92.jpg"/></a>

<a href="http://s44.photobucket.com/user/AllyPheeb/media/Rodcarriers_zpsc50818c1.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2/AllyPheeb/Rodcarriers_zpsc50818c1.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo Rodcarriers_zpsc50818c1.jpg"/></a>

It may be frozen there, mine was very tight and rough. Then check the hinges on the vent hood itself. It too should move smooth and freely. Mine were very tight there also.

The control/adjusting lever in the vent closed position. This was also a bit rough and sticky.

<a href="http://s44.photobucket.com/user/AllyPheeb/media/IMG_2042_zps9a563248.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2/AllyPheeb/IMG_2042_zps9a563248.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_2042_zps9a563248.jpg"/></a>

The bolt that connects the control/adjusting lever to the transfer bar. (Note that the bolt is shouldered !!)

<a href="http://s44.photobucket.com/user/AllyPheeb/media/IMG_2040_zpsbb04a6b8.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2/AllyPheeb/IMG_2040_zpsbb04a6b8.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_2040_zpsbb04a6b8.jpg"/></a>

The bolt should rotate freely here. The shoulder protrudes through the transfer bar. A little lube also helps here.

<a href="http://s44.photobucket.com/user/AllyPheeb/media/IMG_2039_zpsf5a45815.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2/AllyPheeb/IMG_2039_zpsf5a45815.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_2039_zpsf5a45815.jpg"/></a>

There is a flat washer that butts up to that shoulder of the bolt, then the elongated bar from the control/adjusting lever goes over the bolt, then another flat washer, spring washer, then nut. Your problem might be here if it is assembled incorrectly.

<a href="http://s44.photobucket.com/user/AllyPheeb/media/IMG_2046_zpsbd842de6.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2/AllyPheeb/IMG_2046_zpsbd842de6.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_2046_zpsbd842de6.jpg"/></a>

<a href="http://s44.photobucket.com/user/AllyPheeb/media/IMG_2043_zps5f695617.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2/AllyPheeb/IMG_2043_zps5f695617.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_2043_zps5f695617.jpg"/></a>

The nut locks the bar to the bolt but the bolt should still be able to rotate in the transfer bar.

To adjust, replace the rod from the transfer bar up to the vent hood, then loosen the nut, make sure the vent hood is closed and the control/adjusting lever is in the correct position as above, then lock the nut.

If all has gone well, when you push the adjusting lever down, the hood should open.

<a href="http://s44.photobucket.com/user/AllyPheeb/media/IMG_2044_zps968d1b2f.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2/AllyPheeb/IMG_2044_zps968d1b2f.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_2044_zps968d1b2f.jpg"/></a>

Danny

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That is perfect Danny!

We apparently have 2 washers that don't belong there at all, and that's probably why it didn't work on the other car either.

If there is any other way to say "thank you" in Australia-land, I want to say them all! Cheers mate! (did I say that right?)

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)
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