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So, here is what I have, both cars are complete and cancer free. Both bodies are very straight and filler-free. Both need body prep & paint. (no worries about getting them painted)

#1 - 1955 Model 56R-Two-Door Super Riviera - Barn Find, All original and complete (short of 2 missing trim pieces). Last licensed in 1967. Original 322 Nailhead engine seized but no noticeable cracks or damage from external inspection. Needs Interior but have all the original seats and panels.

attachment.php?attachmentid=299462&d=1426458716attachment.php?attachmentid=299452&d=1426458705

#2 - 1955 Model 61-Four-Door Century Tourback Sedan - All original and complete. Last licensed in 1999. Original 322 Nailhead engine has a large hole punched through the side of the block. All other parts seem good from external inspection. Interior complete and somewhat fair condition.

attachment.php?attachmentid=299461&d=1426458715attachment.php?attachmentid=299460&d=1426458714attachment.php?attachmentid=299457&d=1426458711

#3 - 1955 Special or Century rolling chassy only (no body). Good running 322 Nailhead engine with good Dynaflow tranny. (I can drive the chassy with a string on the throttle and a gas can strapped to the back!) Dropped uprights, new rear knee action shocks, brand new wide-whitewall tires.

attachment.php?attachmentid=299458&d=1426458712

So, here is what I've been thinking but someone please tell me if I'm crazy. I love #1. The look and style is what I like the most. #2 however, upon a little bit of research, only 13,269 were produced. It seems that most of these were stripped for their engines, parts and left to die. I'm not seeing many at all so I'm wondering if this will eventually be much more valuable?... Nonetheless, the bottom line is that I have other projects as well and I have to sacrifice somewhere. So, I was thinking about a couple of options...

Option 1: Pull the engine from #1 and put in the engine from #3 (temporarily). Tear down the #1 engine and see what it takes to get her moving again short of a full $5k rebuild. If easy fix, (rings, seals, etc) get running on rolling chassy to test and put back in original car #1. Put #3 engine in #2, paint it and sell it.

Option 2: Put the engine from #3 into #1, pull all parts off of rolling chassy that I want, swap out any other parts that can be used to put on #1 and sell off #2 and #3 with two bad engines.

Option 3: Same as Option 2 but part out the #2 Century and scrap what's left. (this option kinda kills me to think about)

Option 4: ???? Please give me some good feedback here! Thanks!

Oh, and so far I'm only into these about $4,000 total but need to sell one to fund the other.

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The numbers are confusing me. Maybe it is coffee deficiency.

What I would do is put running engine in the Super. Keep that car.

Rebuild the Super engine (if possible...like you said) and install in the Century.

Sell the Century fast. If you end up spending $5k on the engine rebuild, that is (at least) a grand more than you will get for a four door sedan. Even the parts aren't very valuable on the Century since very little crosses over to more desirable hardtops and convertibles.

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Paul, this ^ is the Mikey I warned you about in your introduction. Always making excuses, it's either not enough coffee or too much coffee, and that's his morning excuses, wait til you hear his evening ones. ;) Plus he has been taking lessons from his mentor Willie (who will be chiming in soon I am sure) on aggravation techniques, so you have been warned.;):cool:

Here's my thoughts......

I would put the good running engine and transmission in the Century 4 door sedan and if like you say the interior is presentable, I would not touch that beautiful patina exterior, you would not be able to get a return on a new paint job even if you do it yourself. True, when the 4 door Century's came out in 55, there wasn't much call for the 4 door sedans and I've always wondered why they even continued making them. So yea they are sorta rare but being four door sedan, will not be of any great value in the future. Personally I love the 4 door sedans, so high society looking!!

Now the reason I say to put the good engine and transmission in the Century, one they would fit. The small series D'flow is a bit shorter than the large series. Secondly, going by this picture, you probably have a transplanted '54 322 engine that most likely came from an air-conditioned and power brake equipped 54 Roadmaster. I say this because of the 54 power steering reservoir lid, the hi-amp double pulley generator (DON'T LOOSE THAT!!!), the compressor braces and the power brake vacuum line coming off the intake manifold. The next thing you will want to check is if the transmission is from a 55 or 54, I am betting it is a 54 Dynaflow since I do not see the kick down linkage on the firewall that would be needed if it were a 55 transmission. There should be a stamped number on the flat surface at bottom on the aluminum flange/plate just behind the bellhousing, get us that and we can probably tell what it is (if the part has never been exchanged). If it is a 54 running gear, then I would start my search for either a 55 322 with Dynaflow or more preferably a '56 322 with '56 Dynaflow attached. The '56 engine was somewhat improved over the 55 and much more improved over the 54's. And the 56 Dynaflow delivered more hp and torque to the wheels, especially on take off than the 55 or 54.

OK, now can we see more pictures of the interiors, especially of the original in the 4 door Century.

attachment.php?attachmentid=299453&d=1426458707

Edited by MrEarl (see edit history)
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Oh, Mr. Earl...

I will now use the excuse of not seeing the other pictures. The lack of interior was not of concern to me since his handle is SMS Paul. Maybe I'm wrong ;)

Of course there is no reason to "toss" the sedan, but if any cash is spent on any car I would go with the 2 dr hardtop.

If you just want to tool around and enjoy an old car then the Century is what I always refer to as the "best car you can afford". i.e. needs the least.

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Ok, so now that we all have had a bit more coffee, (including myself)... I've uploaded a few more picts of the tranny that is on the rolling chassis, the cast numbers from the engine in the Super and the interior picts of the Century 4dr as requested. ...which btw, Mike, SMS has a lot of different meanings so I'll give you this link and let you keep guessing... but it's not what I think you may be referring to. :rolleyes:http://www.abbreviations.com/SMS

Now, with all that aside. According to http://www.teambuick.com/reference/casting_numbers_nailhead.php The casting numbers from all three engines are '55. So, I'm sure along the way some parts were replaced, etc. but my question is, there is all this talk on TV about "original numbers matching" engines. How important is this really and why if I'm not ever planning on doing a full blown multi-thousandsofdollars restoration? Say another 30 years from now if I were to sell it would it be more valuable to still have the original engine?

Just to avert any confusion, the engine pict above is the engine in the Super. (noted by the red firewall) I have every reason to believe that this is the original engine from this car.

Red = Super

Blue = Century

N/A = well, I'll let you figure that one out. :P

Edited by smspaul (see edit history)
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Snoqualmie?

Numbers don't match on this era of Buick, so it will make no difference.

Truly, keep the one you are most excited about. If it doesn't give you a buzz when you see it, you will want to hit it with a hammer when something goes wrong.

Welcome aboard, Paul.

Ya know, if it WAS SMS fabrics, everybody would have wanted to be your friend.

;)

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Oh, that's good to know then. I was overly concerned about keeping the original engine intact. I didn't want to get a few years down the road and realize I had made a big mistake in swapping out the engine. How about the differences in the early to late '55 intake manifold and valve covers? (with or w/o breathers) Anything else besides the generator that should be kept with the 'keeper' ('55 Super)?

Thanks for all the input!

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Technically (allegedly) the fillers in the valve covers (late 55- 56) breathe better. The shields on top (54-early 55) look better. Again, no difference in "down the line" resale.

The generator is mostly valuable because of the double pulley. IF it hasn't been monkeyed with, it should put out more amps than a stock generator due to the AC requirements. Sell the power steering pump to Lamar or one of those 54 guys since it has the early lid AND the AC only pulley which he is hoarding.

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Did Mike just call me a hoarder?!?!

Actually Mike while the lid on the power steering pump says '54 I'm not sure that is a Air Condition Power Steering pump pulley, as the belt is in the position of the center water pump pulley. (Looks like the outer pulley was removed from the water pump and crankshaft) Aren't the power steering belts usually on the outermost pulley, hence the need for a longer necked pulley?

That 439 ending casting number is the same on some 54-56 264 and 322 heads. Best way to tell what year and series engine is by the engine number which is stamped on a machined surface on the top outer edge of the left cylinder bank between the middle branches of the exhaust manifold. Let us know what that is. Or if it is rusted over the cast block number on the rear of the engine would tell also. I am betting the engine serial number falls after 274,000 and before 720,000 and that it ends in a - 7, or maybe a - 6.

What really looks nice on these 322's is a set of chromed rocker covers with the fireball sticker and a set of '53 chromed spark plug covers with the holes in the rear letting the spark plug wires go to the back of the block and up instead of up and over the rocker covers.

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Combination of PB Penetrating Catalyst and soaking the pistons with Marvel Mystery Oil. The person I acquired it from had bought it as a project car for him and his son. (who lost interest shortly thereafter) He was surprised when we discovered the engine seized as it had ran previously (burning oil) His son had been trying to start it just the summer before but couldn't get it to start right away and quickly gave up. So, it's only been a couple of years that it has been seized. I've ordered some Kano Kroil but I'm sure if the engine burned oil before, it probably still needs a ring job at the bare minimum. I'll pull it soon and tear it down to see what things look like.

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What have you tried by way of freeing up the engine in the Super?

Good question to ask, could solve a lot questions.

BTW I am now seeing the kick down linkage on the firewall in the additional pictures so good, maybe it is a 55 D'flow and 322. But why the AC items.

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Lamar, The cast number on the block in the Super is V 787979 B? :confused: the B could possibly be a "6" but really difficult to see. Sounds good on the chrome ideas...I've got plenty of valve covers and a set of spark plug covers...have to paint for now and think I'll work on getting two running engines first. ;)

The block on the running chassis is I420582 6

Edited by smspaul (see edit history)
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Lamar, The cast number on the block in the Super is V 787979 B? :confused: the B could possibly be a "6" but really difficult to see. Sounds good on the chrome ideas...I've got plenty of valve covers and a set of spark plug covers...have to paint for now and think I'll work on getting two running engines first. ;)

The block on the running chassis is I420582 6

Do you mean the "stamped number on the block" ^ If so looks like I loose the bet then, that would put the engine in the 1955 numbers and the B/6 would be correct for the Century. So why all the AC parts. :confused: Are you sure that is an I on the running chassis number? ie I420582 6? It should be a V. But even then the rest of the numbers put that engine in the 1954 engine numbers and from a Century (the 6).

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Try to turn the engine using a large screwdriver or other pry tool between the block and ring gear (a 2' screwdriver gives more leverage than a 6' bar at the front). If still no joy, remove the rocker assemblies (stuck valves or rockers fused to the shaft will lock up the whole engine). Report back...an engine that has been burning oil is the least likely to seize.

Willie

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Do you mean the "stamped number on the block" ^ If so looks like I loose the bet then, that would put the engine in the 1955 numbers and the B/6 would be correct for the Century. So why all the AC parts. :confused: Are you sure that is an I on the running chassis number? ie I420582 6? It should be a V. But even then the rest of the numbers put that engine in the 1954 engine numbers and from a Century (the 6).

Yep, those are the stamped numbers on the blocks. Here's a shot of the running chassis number: attachment.php?attachmentid=299688&d=1426546833

Which parts again (besides the generator) are indicating A/C?

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Try to turn the engine using a large screwdriver or other pry tool between the block and ring gear (a 2' screwdriver gives more leverage than a 6' bar at the front). If still no joy, remove the rocker assemblies (stuck valves or rockers fused to the shaft will lock up the whole engine). Report back...an engine that has been burning oil is the least likely to seize.

Willie

Will do. I'm thinking it's valves, rockers or even lifters maybe? I'll keep ya posted.

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V7879795

V = V8 (the V prefix was dropped in 1955 once engine number 100000 was reached)

787979 = sequential number, range for 1955 was 720,080 to 1,460,022

5 = Series 50 (Super)

14205826

1420582 = sequential number, range for 1955 was 720,080 to 1,460,022

6 = Series 60 (Century)

The first year the car serial number and the engine serial number match for Buick is 1957.

I=1, see this post here for more info on that:

http://forums.aaca.org/showthread.php?t=389502&p=1406184&viewfull=1#post1406184

Edited by sean1997 (see edit history)
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V7879795

V = V8 (the V prefix was dropped in 1955 once engine number 100000 was reached)

787979 = sequential number, range for 1955 was 720,080 to 1,460,022

5 = Series 50 (Super)

14205826

1420582 = sequential number, range for 1955 was 720,080 to 1,460,022

6 = Series 60 (Century)

The first year the car serial number and the engine serial number match for Buick is 1957.

I=1, see this post here for more info on that:

http://forums.aaca.org/showthread.php?t=389502&p=1406184&viewfull=1#post1406184

Ahh, thanks for clearing that up. I had thought that the chassis engine was from a '55 but that helps confirm it. :)

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Ahh, thanks for clearing that up. :)

X 2 and I wish I could think that I would remember that next time but I doubt it.

Which parts again (besides the generator) are indicating A/C?

I thought I saw a compressor bracket just above the generator bracket.

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I thought I saw a compressor bracket just above the generator bracket.

Hmm, is that what that upper bracket is?! ...anyone got any picts of how a compressor would mount in this position? What would I look for to see if it originally had A/C?...Was that even an option?

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So, here is what I have, both cars are complete and cancer free. Both bodies are very straight and filler-free. Both need body prep & paint. (no worries about getting them painted)

#1 - 1955 Model 56R-Two-Door Super Riviera - Barn Find, All original and complete (short of 2 missing trim pieces). Last licensed in 1967. Original 322 Nailhead engine seized but no noticeable cracks or damage from external inspection. Needs Interior but have all the original seats and panels.

#2 - 1955 Model 61-Four-Door Century Tourback Sedan - All original and complete. Last licensed in 1999. Original 322 Nailhead engine has a large hole punched through the side of the block. All other parts seem good from external inspection. Interior complete and somewhat fair condition.

#3 - 1955 Special or Century rolling chassy only (no body). Good running 322 Nailhead engine with good Dynaflow tranny. (I can drive the chassy with a string on the throttle and a gas can strapped to the back!) Dropped uprights, new rear knee action shocks, brand new wide-whitewall tires.

So, here is what I've been thinking but someone please tell me if I'm crazy. I love #1. The look and style is what I like the most. #2 however, upon a little bit of research, only 13,269 were produced. It seems that most of these were stripped for their engines, parts and left to die. I'm not seeing many at all so I'm wondering if this will eventually be much more valuable?... Nonetheless, the bottom line is that I have other projects as well and I have to sacrifice somewhere. So, I was thinking about a couple of options...

Option 1: Pull the engine from #1 and put in the engine from #3 (temporarily). Tear down the #1 engine and see what it takes to get her moving again short of a full $5k rebuild. If easy fix, (rings, seals, etc) get running on rolling chassy to test and put back in original car #1. Put #3 engine in #2, paint it and sell it.

Option 2: Put the engine from #3 into #1, pull all parts off of rolling chassy that I want, swap out any other parts that can be used to put on #1 and sell off #2 and #3 with two bad engines.

Option 3: Same as Option 2 but part out the #2 Century and scrap what's left. (this option kinda kills me to think about)

Option 4: ???? Please give me some good feedback here! Thanks!

Oh, and so far I'm only into these about $4,000 total but need to sell one to fund the other.

I recommend option 2

Did Mike just call me a hoarder?!?!

Actually Mike while the lid on the power steering pump says '54 I'm not sure that is a Air Condition Power Steering pump pulley, as the belt is in the position of the center water pump pulley. (Looks like the outer pulley was removed from the water pump and crankshaft) Aren't the power steering belts usually on the outermost pulley, hence the need for a longer necked pulley?

That 439 ending casting number is the same on some 54-56 264 and 322 heads. Best way to tell what year and series engine is by the engine number which is stamped on a machined surface on the top outer edge of the left cylinder bank between the middle branches of the exhaust manifold. Let us know what that is. Or if it is rusted over the cast block number on the rear of the engine would tell also. I am betting the engine serial number falls after 274,000 and before 720,000 and that it ends in a - 7, or maybe a - 6.

What really looks nice on these 322's is a set of chromed rocker covers with the fireball sticker and a set of '53 chromed spark plug covers with the holes in the rear letting the spark plug wires go to the back of the block and up instead of up and over the rocker covers.

the '53 covers do look better with th wires exiting the rear (rather than upper rear)

But here's chromed covers

BuickVlvCvr.jpg

DSCN0140.jpg

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I recommend option 2

the '53 covers do look better with th wires exiting the rear (rather than upper rear)

But here's chromed covers

BuickVlvCvr.jpg

DSCN0140.jpg

James, as I'm sure you know, your dad used to love to talk about those chrome covers! That's a nice looking engine! That radiator overflow is even correct, how it curves over the angled radiator top, many times they get bient at an angle to conform to the radiator when replaced.

Paul, if you're super was an original air-conditioned car there would be evidence of it all over the place. There would have been a Nother radiator/condenser in front of the radiator with lines going back to the rear of the car and into the truck. The AC evaporator was a big box in the truck with ducks going up to the back shelf and plastic ducks going up to the roof. That's trunk and ducts, damn talking to this iPad!!

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Thanks James. Yes, very nice look with that chrome. I've got a pair of those Fireball decals around here somewhere too. :-)

Like Mark said earlier the rocker covers without the breeders in them look better. And yours appear to have been stamped well. That's MIKE and breathers. Has anyone ever seen an iPad frisbee before:mad:

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If no other a/c components are there, someone probably transplanted an engine and left the that part of the bracket on it. Curious...can you supply more pictures of the exhaust setup on the rolling chassis?

Willie

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Thanks James. Yes, very nice look with that chrome. I've got a pair of those Fireball decals around here somewhere too. :-)
James, as I'm sure you know, your dad used to love to talk about those chrome covers! That's a nice looking engine! That radiator overflow is even correct, how it curves over the angled radiator top, many times they get bient at an angle to conform to the radiator when replaced.

Paul, if you're super was an original air-conditioned car there would be evidence of it all over the place. There would have been a Nother radiator/condenser in front of the radiator with lines going back to the rear of the car and into the truck. The AC evaporator was a big box in the truck with ducks going up to the back shelf and plastic ducks going up to the roof. That's trunk and ducts, damn talking to this iPad!!

Technically speaking; the valve covers with breathers are not supposed to have the decals. And then again, the chrome is incorrect anyway....

But, as Lamar alludes, No one could've convinced my Dad his valve covers weren't originally chromed,,,,

I bought another set of Valve covers (painted) to replace those chromed covers ...

But I don't have the heart to take Dad's Chrome off the engine.

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V7879795

V = V8 (the V prefix was dropped in 1955 once engine number 100000 was reached)

787979 = sequential number, range for 1955 was 720,080 to 1,460,022

5 = Series 50 (Super)

14205826

1420582 = sequential number, range for 1955 was 720,080 to 1,460,022

6 = Series 60 (Century)

The first year the car serial number and the engine serial number match for Buick is 1957.

I=1, see this post here for more info on that:

http://forums.aaca.org/showthread.php?t=389502&p=1406184&viewfull=1#post1406184

So, I ran across another Nailhead, Here are the numbers but the stamped block serial# is confusing me...

Heads

[TABLE=class: t1, width: 300]

<tbody>[TR]

[TD=class: td1]1166349-4[/TD]

[TD=class: td2]53-56[/TD]

[TD=class: td3]264/322

[/TD]

[/TR]

</tbody>[/TABLE]

Intake

[TABLE=class: t1, width: 300]

<tbody>[TR]

[TD=class: td4]1170617[/TD]

[TD=class: td5]55[/TD]

[TD=class: td6]322 4bbl[/TD]

[/TR]

</tbody>[/TABLE]

Block

[TABLE=class: t1, width: 300]

<tbody>[TR]

[TD=class: td7]1169334[/TD]

[TD=class: td8]53-56[/TD]

[TD=class: td9]264/322[/TD]

[/TR]

</tbody>[/TABLE]

Block Ser# 190085I6

Edited by smspaul (see edit history)
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If no other a/c components are there, someone probably transplanted an engine and left the that part of the bracket on it. Curious...can you supply more pictures of the exhaust setup on the rolling chassis?

Willie

Well, I personally would NOT use this as a "How-To" example....more like how "NOT-to".....cut holes in the frame to run the dual pipes. smh....

attachment.php?attachmentid=299847&d=1426642462

attachment.php?attachmentid=299458&d=1426458712

attachment.php?attachmentid=299848&d=1426642463

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19008516

1900851 = sequential number, starting number for 1956 was 1,460,023 (the ending number isn't know, but it is some where over 2,042,000 but it doesn't matter because this was the last year this format was used)

6 = Series 60 (Century)

As you are finding out, Buick tended to use the same casting number over multiple engine sizes and multiple years. However, the stamped engine serial number will give you the exact year.

Edited by sean1997 (see edit history)
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19008516

1900851 = sequential number, starting number for 1956 was 1,460,023 (the ending number isn't know, but it is some where over 2,042,000 but it doesn't matter because this was the last year this format was used)

6 = Series 60 (Century)

As you are finding out, Buick tended to use the same casting number over multiple engine sizes and multiple years. However, the stamped engine serial number will give you the exact year.

Ok, that's what I was kinda guessing but wanted to be sure. So, if I'm looking at these numbers correctly...Doesn't it look like the Intake is off a '55, Block from a '56 Century, and Heads from a '53-'56 Special?

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If you Google "Buick 1170617" or "Buick 1170617 1956" you will find plenty of posts with people with 1956 engines and intake 1170617. I would not assume that the casting number list is 100% complete or 100% accurate.

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