Jump to content

TK's 1946 Roadmaster 76-S

Recommended Posts

 I have not used inline tube, but I have heard good things about them. Though I decided to go a different route, and bought, over the 'bay, lines that were straight, but were supposed to be custom sized for length to the specific car, and labeled as to what goes where. The first set I got was for my '41, and they worked out fine, however, two years ago I decided to change all the lines on my '56 Roadmaster, its' a very rust free California car, and most of lines looked nearly perfect, but for peace of mind I decided to replace them. So, bought a similar kit from the same vendor, and they were really screwed up. Some lines were way to long, others too short, so I'm not so much of a fan of that method right now.

 You can cut and flare your own, or buy ready made lines a bit long, and them cut down as nec., and some guys do this, so maybe its' just me, but I've had the odd leak doing it this way, which meant going through the procedure again. The flares have to be done properly to be safe and reliable in the long term and I prefer a factory made flare.

 Anyway, I hope that this helps.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second the others - replace all the lines.  I have used Inline Tube in the past with good results, including fabrication of original lines that I sent them as templates.  In fact, they may have a complete set ready to install.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Hello Hello, and Merry Good Friday 2016!


It's been a few months - already!  So what's been happening??


Regarding the brakes:  I've been in touch with Inline Tube, and they claim to be very interested in my set of brake lines.  They currently do not have a set available for me to purchase, nor do they yet have the specifications/measurements on my particular setup.  Figuring out how, exactly, to remove the lines without causing damage is going to be a puzzle, I'm thinking, ha!


Regarding the winter cold:  As you gents are well aware (I'm guessing!), working in the cold pretty much eliminates any enjoyment that could otherwise be gleaned.  So, I had this jigger installed in January - gas powered heat for the masses! Ahhhhhhhh....




Regarding new work performed:  Since I'm procrastinating on the brakes, a different task is getting tackled.  I removed the old fuel tank, which essentially was done and out within four steps:  1) disconnect fuel line at front of tank, 2) loosen fuel drain plug and get the as much as the cruddies out as possible, 3) loosen two bracket nuts at rear of tank until the strap brackets can be disengaged (which then drops the tank), and 4) remove the fuel sender unit from the tank.  Like most of my Buick projects, progress was considerably hindered thanks to rusted bolts 'n nuts 'n such.  But finally success!


large.56f60c8643699_(2016-03-25)OldFuelTank-Hole.jpg The old tank had this hole in the bottom half.  Blech.

large.56f60cc930825_(2016-03-25)OldFuelTank-StrapsUndone.jpg Here's the tank partially dropped after strap brackets disengaged.

large.56f60c9799249_(2016-03-25)OldFuelTank-OldSender(2).jpg Here's the old fuel sender unit before removing from the old tank.

large.56f60d10bb4dd_(2016-03-25)OldFuelTank-Removed.jpg  Lastly, here's the completely removed old tank.


After taking my tape measure to the tank, I verified it was part (tank size) B1-D, and the sender feed tube was of the 5/16" variety.  A new tank, new sender unit, and new straps w/ strap hardware came to $313 (yeesh).  That cable/wire for the sending unit is toast, though, so that will need to be addressed before putting in the new equipment (if I ever want the fuel guage to eventually work, ha!).  The fuel line between the fuel pump and engine were all blown out before the first engine tests - I still need to blow out the fuel line between the sending unit on the tank and the fuel pump.


I've been keeping up maintenance on my other rigs in the meantime.  And bad, bad news - upon changing the rear differential oil in the '99 GMC Jimmy, I was greeted with an excess of metal shavings and loose metal chips in the pumpkin.  175k miles will do that, I suppose!  Yikes... So, I ended up selling it and replacing it with a Tacoma.  I don't know about you all, but selling cars is a sad deal for me!!  That high school student that ended up with it, though, was super excited to be getting it, though :)


Lastly, and much to my disappointment, Buick was in the news this past week for deciding against pursuing production of the Buick Avista.  Here's a quick look at it:




That's a great lookin' car - something that I think Buick needs to stay relevant in the current world.  I wrote a letter to corporate telling them as much, and how disappointed I was, ha.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Another day of hobby-ing, another $100.  At least that's the way it seems to my bank account, ha :)


With the fuel tank out, I realized it allowed for generously copious amounts of easy access to the rear differential.  Therefore, I paused the fuel tank work and spent a few hours changing out the gear oil instead.  The gasket had already been ordered and received (via Bobs Automobilia - perfect fit).  The shop manual called for 80 or 90 weight oil depending on outside temperature, so I purchased a couple quarts of fully-synthetic 75w-90.  Then I opened up the rear diff!




Most of the existing oil coming out was in pretty good shape.  I examined the plug for metal shavings - I was happy to find no shavings on it!  Then I realized the plug wasn't magnetic.  So I ever-so-slowly began scooping out the residual oils that settled in the bottom of the diff, with light shining on it, into a separate pan.  No evidence of metal shavings was identified.  Then I wiped out the rest of the old oil with a shop towel, and examined the towel.  Still no evidence of metal shavings.  However, inspection of the gears produced this find - a chip:




I found no such piece in the housing, though, so we'll call that the "Houdini Piece".  I began prepping for reassembly and discovered - to no surprise to other members of this forum, of course - that the cork gasket I had didn't have the holes in it.  So with the help of the diff casing, some presses, and gentle drilling with a masonry bit, gasket holes were made!


Once the rear diff was reassembled and re-oiled, my attention turned back to prepping the new gas tank for assembly and installation.  I pulled out the corroded automotive wiring that led from the gas tank to the trunk, and replaced it with new wiring and connectors.  Then I checked to verify the new sending unit would match up to the existing fuel line...



Uh oh - doesn't match.  This effectively postpones the fuel tank installation until that difference can be reconciled...


Joy! :lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites

That fitting on the old sending unit is just soldered on and can be switched.  It is brass and will clean up nicely, but be sure the two pipes are the same diameter.  Some of us add electric fuel pumps near the tank to prime the carb and/or correct vapor lock so the fitting as supplied would work best.

Did you service the axle seals and bearings while you had it apart?  See service manual if not.

All of mine are noisy and leaky using the  75w-90  lube; I prefer 85w-140.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi old-tank!


Thanks for the heads-up!  With your advice, I successfully reattached the new sending unit to the existing steel fuel line without much issue.  Verified the pipes were the same diameter!


No, I didn't service any parts of the rear diff while I had it open...  I do, however, have the service manual, so at least I'm now aware of what you're talking about.  Since the car hasn't moved yet (and probably won't for a while still...), I haven't noticed any egregious leaking or noisiness coming from the rear diff.  However, that being said, there's substantial "sweating" coming from the front-end of the rear diff, where the driveline connects.  I'll certainly keep my eyes on it.  If you believe that the 85w-140 gear oil is a substantial help, then I could certainly switch it out already (though to be honest, the prospect is not attractive, ha!).


On the positive side, here's a pic with the new tank mounted in, before the fuel neck was attached:




Turns out the new mounting hardware and straps were completely wrong for this application.  I went back and verified my part number to my order, and my order to what I was looking for - yep, I got what I ordered, but I have no idea why they're so different.  Anyhow, the existing straps work just fine for the time being.  I also replaced all wire and connections from the fuel sender that ran into the trunk, and labeled them for future wiring work. 


After installing the fuel neck and verifying a straight connection to the fuel line, I purchased five gallons of non-ethanol fuel, mixed in some lead-substitute treatment, and filled the tank.  With the help from a friend, I disconnected the fuel line from the carb and turned the engine over until the fuel pump was pumping out clear, clean fuel.  After re-connecting the fuel line to the carb, we fired it up to listen to it purr  :D

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick update; a little more progress was made yesterday.  My mission was to remove and begin rebuilding the master cylinder.  It wasn't very difficult to get to, thankfully, but it didn't want to come out very badly, ha!  Here's a couple pics:


large.570e659ed57f4_(2016-04-12)MasterCylinder(1).jpg  Top-down view of master cylinder before removal...
large.570e65a155dca_(2016-04-12)MasterCylinder(2).jpg  Bottom-up view of master cylinder before removal...
large.570e65a4381bd_(2016-04-12)MasterCylinder(3).jpg  Another bottom-up view, this showing an attached spring...
large.570e659c171e6_(2016-04-12)BrakeSprings.jpg  Yet another bottom-up, showing the spring at the far end of the "plunger rod" (I have no idea what that's actually called, ha)...
large.570e65a6c8648_(2016-04-12)MasterCylinder(4).jpg  Here's the unit after being removed...


I'm embarrassed to admit it took me most of an hour and a half to get that unit out of there.  Having long, skinny arms helps, but some of those pieces are awkward to get too!!  So, next project would be to begin the rebuild (I have a rebuild kit in hand, so I just need to get to it!). 


I sign off with a question for anyone who has an opinion on the matter - should I be cleaning and polishing up these parts as I work on the car?  And if so, what's the best way to go about this?  I don't have a bench grinder, but I would assume that would help out a lot... ha!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a positive habit to me!  So after asking around a little, it seems like I just use the parts cleaner solvent, except not for the rubber/plastic pieces.  That's a can-do.


And yes, replacing the brake lines is on my agenda, though not for a little while still.  After finishing the work on the master cylinder, I'm going to replace the brake hoses and wheel cylinders.  From there, I'll finish cleaning the rest of the brake parts as necessary and reassembling them.  Once I've got all that in place, then I intend on changing out the main brake lines!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I too always clean and paint pieces that I'm working on. I've found that it is often the most time consuming part of the job! I use the the usual assortment of techniques, solvents, de greaseers, and a hand held drill with a wire brush or a stripping pad attached to clean off any corrosion. The latter is of course potentially dangerous, so take the appropriate

measures to protect your eyes, body and lungs.

 Back to the master cylinder, after you get it all apart, check the bore carefully for pitting, you can buy (if you don't already have one) and drill mounted honing stone, to smooth out the surface, but if you have any pits in the casting, you'll need to get it sleeved. The pits will cause it to seep and the pedal will get spongy, not immediate failure, but over repeated use you'll slowly lose braking power.


  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Sometimes I wonder if I post too many updates?  If so, pardon my wordiness - the topic is just too interesting and exciting for me not to share!!


Alrighty, so together we march forward through the master cylinder rebuild.  There was definitely resistance in getting this unit disassembled, but it eventually gave way.


large.571e6f1b0e92b_(2016-04-17)001MasterCylinder.jpg  Here are the old parts next to the new kit parts (for photo comparison purposes)...


Bad news on the disassembly front.  Upon inspection of the main chamber and cylinder walls, there were copious build-ups and chunkies of rust.  All of the pieces were subjected to a thorough intensive brake-cleaner therapy, and the cylinder walls were gently (emphasis, gently!) honed (thanks for that tip, Keith!).  After that, all parts were submerged in parts cleaner, and the exteriors were wire-brushed.  To my dismay (though not surprise), there was some minor pitting developing in one area of the cylinder wall.  Per discussion with my dad and neighbor, we decided to go ahead and continue to use the unit in lieu of replacing for the time being.


large.571e6f1dc6e5b_(2016-04-17)002MasterCylinder.jpg  Here are the new parts lined up in order of assembly...

large.571e6f1f9af99_(2016-04-17)003MasterCylinder.jpg  Some text showed up after scrubbing the cap...  I'll be certainly be sure to use only GMC brake fluid (haha)

large.571e6f221ec68_(2016-04-17)004MasterCylinder.jpg  Text became legible on the unit itself after cleaning...

large.571e6f247b894_(2016-04-17)005MasterCylinder.jpg  As well as text on the other side...


As of last night, the master cylinder has been reinstalled and now we're on to the next adventure!  I had decided that I was going to finish up my evening by removing one of the front brake hoses.  So I found the head, matched up the wrench, and got to crankin' on it.  That was a bad move - I didn't realize what I was doing was twisting up the steel brake lines behind it like ribbon.  All I had to do was pull a clip out, and the steel fitting would have just twisted out and the hose would have been freed.  Sheesh.  Good thing I was already planning on replacing that line, but still... Nobody likes wrecking stuff :( , but I suppose some lessons are learned by making mistakes.


And on a lighter note, I decided to go dinking around in the mountains with one of my other toys yesterday afternoon!  It was a blast! :D



Oh!  One last thing!  While I was working underneath the car, I noticed a chassis lube port *barely* poking it's head out of some of the collective cruddies.  So I decided I would attack this small section of the underbody with a flathead screwdriver, putty knife, and wire brush to clean it off.  Here are before and after pics of the area:




Heh, I'm aware it's not cleaned to perfection, but at least it's the correct shape now, ha!  There's A LOT of that sort of cleaning work that could probably be done.  A little here and there as I go along, perhaps!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Top o' the Monday to y'all!


After having to slow the project rig down for a couple months (reason: fiscal responsibility), I fired up again this weekend and incurred some more expenses!!  My first self-assigned task was pulling the radiator so I could drop it off at a repair shop.  After examining the radiator, I developed a plan of attack.  It seemed easy enough - two hoses and ten bolts.  First step, of course, was to drain the fluid out of it!  After opening the drain plug, an entire 3 drops of liquid came out.  "Oh," I thought, "Must be dry."  Boy, I was wrong.  After loosening the ten bolts, I removed the top coolant hose.  No issues.  I then focused on the bottom hose.  For accessibility, I chose to detach the lower hose from the engine block.  So... don't ask me why, but I wasn't prepared for the result, ha:




Yep yep.  It puked all over the place.  So after some mopping and cleaning, I finished pulling the radiator and rotated around while draining the remainder of the fluids into a bucket.  Didn't take me long to realize why the drain plug wasn't working - some of that liquid was nasty-brown-chunky-goodness.  As you can imagine, I was having doubts about this part being repairable at this point.  I then placed the radiator down and had to fight the lower hose off of the radiator.  Yes, fight, ha!  See picture below...




Blech.  More corrosion 'n such.  Here's the final product after getting removed.




The radiator repair shop gave it a once-over and delivered bad verdict.  I gave him authorization to "do what he had to do", and so it looks like a full-on core rebuild will likely have to happen.  I was quoted "up to $400" for the repair/rebuild.  But the worst part, of course, is being placed in line and having to exercise patience for 1-2 months, ha!! :)


Here's a shot of the engine front without the radiator, just for giggles:




The other major purchase was rubber.  I took one of the old wheels around to different tire shops around town for quotes and options.  Naturally, I wanted the wide-whitewalls, but the *best* price quote I received for those was $940 for four tires.  One of the other options were standard radials with a small white stripe at $400 for the set.  That's no contest for me; perhaps I'll get the wide-whites next time!




The checklist leading up to the first road test is dwindling!!  Things are getting very exciting for me!  Next on my list is changing the transmission oil out with fresh stuff.  Then, of course, finishing the brakes, replacing the brake lines, and re-lubing the wheels.  Yes, I realize there's been a common theme with this thread.  There has been this overarching "brakes in progress" theme; I'm realizing brakes aren't fun.  Completely an intrapersonal revelation, but still, not as rewarding as other procedures, for some reason, ha.  On that note, I have been unable to locate a shop that rents out brake line tools.  So naturally, I went and priced out some supplies.  To get 25' of nickel-infused line, fittings, line straightener, line cutter, line bender, and line pliers... will roughly run $250 for the pieces I selected from various retailers.  Yes, the rig is paid off, but who says I'm not making payments on it, anyways?? Ha!


In other news, my sports car from my college days (a whole 5 years ago, ha) received a crap-load of golf ball hail damage, and was totaled out :(.  Pretty sad deal...


Hope y'alls Summer has been treating you fantastically thus far!! Until next time!

Edited by Kaftan (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice to hear from you again. I have been through the same $$$ issues, and have had to put a project on hold. One has to keep oneself and the family fed, and a roof over your head, or else the old car isn't of much use!

Sorry to hear about your sports car too.

Keep up the good work!


  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

It cost $500. to have mine re cored with a modern high density core, about 5 or 6 years ago. Now that's Canadian, and the costs here are higher than the US, even back then when the dollars were close to the same value. So the estimate you got may not be too far off.


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I was given an estimate of "around $1000" for a new radiator core and putting the tanks back on, for my '48 Roadmaster coupe two years ago. The radiator shop I use is good, but he's also the "only game in town", in a town of 35,000 population. Luckily, my Roadmaster's radiator only needed a good rodding out and soldering a small leak, so I got by with $300 for that.

I love your car, by the way!.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

1948 model 76-S

1948 model 56-S

1949 model 51

1949 model 59

1949 model 56-C

and other old Buicks...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Top o' the Tuesday to you!


I received a surprise call this last weekend from Val's Radiator telling me the work was done [already]!  So I picked the '46 radiator back up much earlier than I anticipated.  I like good surprises, ha!  Turns out, after cleaning, testing, and some repair work, the unit did *not* need to be re-cored.  The shop painted it all up for me and returned it to me like so:




Even the repair shop owner was surprised that it was in such good shape!  So, the bill for the pressure tests and work performed came to $281.  Which, naturally, leads me to believe that the original re-core estimate of $400 was substantially lower than what it actually would have cost.  Either that, or I completely misunderstood the estimate, ha!  In any case, it would likely be more along the lines of what you gents were expecting :).


As a side story, I attended a local car show this weekend.  Of particular note, I met a fellow BCA member, "Glenn", who was showing an absolutely breathtaking 1933 Model 87.  Had quite a long chat, and a detailed tour of the car!!  It apparently made the cover of the Bugle ten years ago!



  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice that your rad turned out to be good! That's an honest shop, as some would just want to sell you a new one no matter what.

Also, it is nice to see another McLaughlin Buick with Ontario plates on it.


  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Few more happenings since the last update!


Before reinstalling the repaired radiator, I chose to use a mild engine flush in the engine's water jacket.  I increased the water-to-cleaner ratio in order to make it more "gentle".  It was during this time that I noted the small radiator hoses that connected the thermostat housing to the heater cores were leaking.  After I completed the flush (left cleaner in the water jacket for two hours), I began replacing all of the smaller radiator hoses.  There were four total - two between the thermostat housing and the front heater core, and other two that ran from the front heater core to the rear heater core (underneath the car).


Here's a photo of the four hoses to/from the front heater core:




And here are a few photos with the new hoses and hose clamps in place:


large.57b1e102433b1_(2016-07-30)002NewHoses.jpg  At the thermostat housing

large.57b1e10675385_(2016-07-30)003NewHoses.jpg At the front heater core

large.57b1e109683cc_(2016-07-30)006NewHoses.jpg At the rear heater core (from underneath)


The next task was replacing the thermostat. 

I then reinstalled the repaired radiator with new radiator hoses:




That's the original radiator cap; I just spent a while cleaning and shining it up :).

Here are pics that list out the part numbers I used for the thermostat, upper hose, and lower hose, just for reference:


large.57b1e112d5d21_(2016-07-30)009UpperRadiatorHosePart.jpg  For the upper radiator hose...

large.57b1e10f4e443_(2016-07-30)008LowerRadiatorHosePart.jpg  For the lower radiator hose...

large.57b1e10cb9b71_(2016-07-30)007NewThermostat.jpg  And for the thermostat...


While I was dinking around, I also reinstalled the spark plug cover:


large.57b1e11ed9749_(2016-08-14)001BeforeSparkPlugCover.jpg   Before....

large.57b1e12265d84_(2016-08-14)002AfterSparkPlugCover.jpg   After...


So here's where the next thing went wrong, ha.  The plan was to get the engine fired up and up to temperature, in order to verify the thermostat is doing its job and allowing the coolant to re-enter the water jacket.  But as much as the starter turned, the fuel pump failed to deliver adequate amounts of fuel to the carb.  In other words, we couldn't get the engine up to stay idling.  So!  At that time, my immediate guess was the fuel pump was getting weak.  It was still pumping, but clearly not enough.  In order to test my theory, we (Dad and I) removed the fuel filter bulb assembly in order to connect a gravity feed tank directly to the carburetor.  We then fired up the engine and two things happened:  1) the engine fired up and idled perfectly, and 2) the fuel line previously connected to the fuel filter squirted fuel LIKE CRAZY.  Ha, I admit, I probably should have seen that coming.  However, even though my diagnosis was incorrect, the gravity tank test still identified the problem - that fuel bulb/filter assembly was severely restricting the fuel flow.  The engine was never brought up to temp to finish testing the cooling system.  The next hour or so was spent taking the filter assemble apart and cleaning the components. 


I eventually was able to access the inner filter - a ceramic cylinder.  I had never seen a filter like this before!  So I took it to Napa.  They had no replacements.  Then I took it to Car Quest.  They had nothing to offer, either.  So throughout my searching, I *finally* found a replacement online.  It's rather expensive, but that's because it's original equipment leftover from the 50s or something like that.  So at this point, I'm guessing these filters just aren't made anymore.


I would love if somebody would give me some advice!  It's my strong desire to keep the original equipment fuel bulb assembly in use.  Is there a paper filter replacement that can go in there?  Or is my only option to procure the ceramic cylinder??


As always, I thank you in advance for your tips and advice!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

If your ceramic filter is not physically damaged, generally you can wash it in laquer thinner, followed by an overnight soak in vinegar to clean it.


Be VERY CAREFUL about ordering a new ceramic element. There are many, often differing in size by only a 1/16 inch or so. Putting in the incorrect size will result in a cracked, useless, and non-returnable because it is broken element. Far safer to purchase a complete assembly with the new ceramic element, and let the vendor worry about getting the correct one.



Edited by carbking (see edit history)
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
On ‎8‎/‎15‎/‎2016 at 10:54 AM, carbking said:

If your ceramic filter is not physically damaged, generally you can wash it in laquer thinner, followed by an overnight soak in vinegar to clean it.


Be VERY CAREFUL about ordering a new ceramic element. There are many, often differing in size by only a 1/16 inch or so. Putting in the incorrect size will result in a cracked, useless, and non-returnable because it is broken element. Far safer to purchase a complete assembly with the new ceramic element, and let the vendor worry about getting the correct one.




That... was an incredibly useful piece of information to have in my back pocket!!  Story to follow shortly!


But first, here's a few adventures I've had this past month:


large.20160806_142144.jpg  ...Went to Glacier National Park, and met up with some mountain goats, big horn sheep, and marmots... Not to mention breathtaking scenery!!

large.57cf222ca2ddc_20160827_15YellowstoneGrandCanyon.jpg  ...Went to Yellowstone National Park, and met up with a grizzly bear, big horn sheep, bison, and many many many elk!!


Ok ok ok - now to get back on topic with a few updates on Buick progress:


First, let's tackle the conclusion of the fuel filter story.  So with @carbking's advice, I was thinking twice about putting a new ceramic cylinder in.  With the advice and assistance from some local parts stores, I managed to come across an acceptable alternative, as shown below:




As you can see, there's a clear defect in the ceramic when I took the unit apart.  This picture is also *after* I cleaned up the fuel bulb assembly.  I chose to go with a paper filter cylinder (box included for part number reference).  Here's a close-up shot of the fuel filter assembly cap, for those who are interested:




Here's how the new gasket fit into the cap:




I didn't like that.  Realistically, it likely would have worked just fine, but it seemed unnecessarily restrictive.  So I purchased an additional, different filter kit, and used the gasket out of that one:




Box included for part number reference.  This filter didn't even come close to fitting, but the gasket was spot-on for matching the old one I chiseled out!

So after 20 minutes of fighting the assembly, it just wasn't going together.  It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize the filter I had wasn't fitting by a fraction of an inch.  So after examining the structure of my paper filter, well, let's just call it a "manual adjustment"...
large.57cf202b0cae4_(2016-08-16)005FuelFiltermanualadjustment.jpg   That should do...

large.57cf1fd025577_(2016-08-16)005FuelFiltercleanreassembled.jpg  Perfect!!

large.57cf1fd450b8e_(2016-08-16)006FuelFilterinstalled.jpg  Lookin' good... Lookin' too good compared to the rest, ha...


And with that, I was finally able to finish testing my radiator and thermostat installation!  The engine fired up without complaint, almost immediately, now that it wasn't starved for fuel.  I let it idle for a while, and watched the temperature gauge climb (to my surprise, the gauge worked!!! Ha).  Sure enough, as soon as the gauge read 180F, the thermostat opened up and my radiator hoses became warm to the touch.  Things were going smoothly.  As a side bonus, I noticed the oil pressure gauge appeared to be working!  It read about 34 at idle, on 10W-30 oil. 


So, cooling system complete!  Clearly, though, this rig has BAD piston rings, or something.  You can probably imagine: white exhaust and all, :)


So this past weekend, I finally had the wild-hair-ambition to tackle some brake drum rebuilding.  As a refresher, this is something I started a long time ago, and never got around to finishing it.  So now that I'm getting closer and closer to my first road test, this unfinished task is really starting to get in my way.  So I dug up my replacement wheel cylinders I had purchased a while ago, and labeled them to match the invoice:


large.57cf1fd8e5fc2_(2016-09-04)001NewWheelCylinders.jpg  Pic for part number reference...

large.57cf1fdb60373_(2016-09-04)003RearLeftDrumDisassembled.jpg  Here's the rear left drum, completely disassembled as the parts were soaking in cleaner...

large.57cf1fe3707e4_(2016-09-05)001RearRightBrakeReassembledCleaned.jpg  Here's the rear right drum, after cleaning and reassembly (new cylinder)...

large.57cf1fe0ba473_(2016-09-04)007RearLeftBrakeReassembledCleaned.jpg  Here's the rear left drum, after cleaning and reassembly (new cylinder)...

large.57cf1fe6edd46_(2016-09-05)002FrontRightBrakeOldBefore.jpg  Here's the front right drum innards, prior to cleaning and reassembly.


As I write this, the front right drum parts are soaking in cleaner.  I admit, I started with the back two thinking they were going to be easier than the front.  But with that parking brake complication in the back, they were actually more difficult!  As per my methods of operation, the first brake reassembly took me roughly 4.5 hours.  Don't ask me how!!  My only excuse is this was my first experience with drum brakes!  And getting them back together felt like a magic trick.  But I'm pleased with the end result.  The second back brake took about 3 hours to break down, clean and reassemble.  My goodness, to think this was standard maintenance back in the day, ha!!  While I have the front wheels off, I'm also replacing the front brake lines, brake hoses, and tie rod ends.  Much to my surprise, the brake shoes are in great condition on all four corners.  The drums, well, I would say those are in "acceptable", or "tolerable" condition.  Nothing too bad, though.


So there you have it - the project slowly marches on.  There's one more GLARINGLY bad problem to deal with, once the brakes are done - the transmission.  Let me see if I can describe this well enough:


Problem #1 (the glaringly bad one):  Transmission makes loud clicking/knocking sound when clutch is not completely depressed.
Whenever the clutch is engaged, the sound goes away.  If the clutch is not engaged, the upsetting sound ensues (doesn't matter if it's in forward gears, reverse, or neutral).  Now, I haven't checked on the gear oil within the transmission.  It's on my to-do list after the brakes.  I'm *praying* the problem is that it's just low on gear oil, and a fill-up will put that sound to rest.  But I have bad feelings that it's probably more serious than that. 

Problem #2:  Double-clutching is required to get the car into 2nd gear. 
Honestly, I'm not sure this is really a problem.  It's certainly easy enough to deal with.  But as far as I can tell from reading the manual and shop manual, there *should* be functioning synchronizing gears at work.  Fun fact:  I *don't* need to double clutch when shifting from 2nd to 3rd.


That's all I have this time!  Hope everybody had a fantastic labor day weekend!!

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Tyler, I love the scenery pictures. I was in Yellowstone in 1980 (is it really that long ago!) and loved the area, hopefully I will get back there in a few years.

I suspect that the release bearing may be the cause of the noise, but also, are you sure that the clutch is adjusted properly? That can cause trouble shifting as well. Worn release bearings will make noise for a long time, and not really break down. But it could be something in the linkage as well.


  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Been slowly checking things off the list over the past couple of weeks!


First, in response to Mr. @Buicknutty:  I cannot, with any confidence, claim that the clutch is properly adjusted.  However, I crawled under the car to examine the shift linkages, and noticed *all* of the related bushings are basically garbage!  As we speak, I have a bushing kit on the way from Bob's Automobilia.  As I'll describe later in this post, there's been more developments with the transmission...


But before we get there, a brake update is in order!  I ended my prior post with a "before" picture of the front right brake.  I had also planned on replacing the tie rod ends (existing ones were garbage):


large.57e5722783174_(2016-09-06)001TieRodEndBefore.jpg  Here's the old one, after cleaning the grime off...

large.57e5722c57582_(2016-09-14)001TieRodEndDuring.jpg  Here I'm removing the old one, with the adjuster sleeve still attached...

large.57e572335c078_(2016-09-14)003TieRodEndAdjusterSleeve.jpg  Here's the adjuster sleeve between cleanings...

large.57e572cdb0956_(2016-09-14)006FrontRightBrakeAfter.jpg  And here's the final pic; new cylinder, new tie rod end, new hose, and parts cleaned up...

large.57e57243d0f92_(2016-09-14)007FrontLeftBrakeBefore.jpg  Here's the "before" on the front left brake...


When I was removing the brake hose here, I inadvertently twisted up the brake line.  So!  I had to make a new one.  After practice bends and many, many practice flares:


large.57e5724cdc827_(2016-09-15)001FrontLeftBrakeLinesOldandNew.jpg  Here's the old one with my finished new one; you can see my twist at the top of the old...

large.57e5725289fa4_(2016-09-15)002FrontLeftBrakeTieRodLineAfter.jpg  And here's the after, all cleaned up; new tie rod end, new cylinder, new brake hose, new brake line...


My dad came over to inspect the brakes, and here's a pic of him making some adjustments to the rear right....




...but all the other ones were good to go!  We bled the system out, and the brake system appears to be tight and ready for action!!! That's another mission-critical system complete :).


At some point, I also realized I had never cracked open the glove compartment.  So I managed it open...


large.57e5726c9bd48_(2016-09-18)001GloveCompartmentBefore.jpg  Little more than a few old maps and an old thermostat....

large.57e572751572a_(2016-09-18)002GloveCompartmentAfter.jpg  The after pic...

large.57e5727eb91b9_(2016-09-18)003GloveCompartmentDecal.jpg  And the remains of the decal on the inside (which I though was kinda neat, ha)...


Since my battery kept going dead, I figured there was a drain somewhere in the car's plethora of exposed wires.  So, I installed this batter cutoff switch.  I just piggy-backed a metal bracket onto existing firewall bolts, thereby avoiding any irreversible damage that would have otherwise occurred!


large.57e5728688385_(2016-09-18)005BatteryIsolatorSwitchInstalled.jpg  Ta-da....


I also turned my attention to the air filter assembly.  I started by giving the filter element a soak in kerosene (as recommended by the manual).


large.57e5728e7dbf8_(2016-09-20)001AirFilterAssemblyPartiallyCleaned.jpg  Here's after I cleaned up the lower oil pan...

large.57e5729277dc2_(2016-09-20)002AirFilterAssemblyPartiallyCleaned.jpg  Here's after I cleaned up the outside of the element section...

large.57e5729a38c93_(2016-09-20)003AirFilterOil.jpg  Here's the oil I chose for the filter (manual recommended 50w, but I wanted lighter)...

large.57e5729d33d1b_(2016-09-20)004AirFilterInstalled.jpg  And here's the assembly all reinstalled!


At this point, I decided to button some other things up.  Such as:


large.57e572ae2207a_(2016-09-20)006TiresInstalled.jpg  The wheels!

large.57e572a50e6e5_(2016-09-20)006FenderSkirtsInstalled.jpg  And the rusty fender skirts!


I took a damp towel to the fender skirts to clean the white residue off of 'em, and reattached the hood, but failed to take a picture after doing so, heh.


So now, the car is ready for it's initial test run around the block!!!  It's been a while in the making, but I'm stoked!!  More pictures and videos to come, once it takes place :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh whoops!! I forgot to mention the transmission updates.


So!  I also changed the oil in the transmission.  Which is an inaccurate statement, because when I took out the drain plug... it was BONE DRY.  I proceeded to fill it with 75W-140 gear oil, then buttoned it up.  Here's a picture of what I worked with...


large.57e5725e90dd9_(2016-09-16)001TransmissionPlugs.jpg  This is from the back of the transmission facing towards the front of the car.


As you can see, the drain and fill plugs are clearly visible.  So after firing the car up and shifting through the gears, most of that unsettling transmission noise went away!  There's still *some* noise coming out, but it's much better. 

Unfortunately, though, I checked the transmission for leaks two days later - it had dripped roughly 20-30 drops in that short time period.  Now we know why it was dry to begin with....  I tried to ascertain where the leak was coming from, to no avail.  I'll have to clean out large chucks of dirt 'n grime before I can see where it's bleeding from. 


At this point, it appears as though the transmission will need to be removed in order to replace some old seal(s).  When I do that, I may as well change out the bad seal(s) at the rear differential that are slowly leaking, as well.  That may be an opportune time to pull the engine to rebuild that... 


Any thoughts?? :)

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

(manual recommended 50w, but I wanted lighter)...


50w is specified because it will (at operating temperatures) be pulled partly up into the mesh and then drain back with the trapped dirt.  Lighter oil will be pulled all the way (along with the dirt) into the intake...even 30w.

50w is hard to find and the last I used was Valvoline racing oil.

You could use something lighter in very cold weather and sometimes 20w was specified.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm.... with an explanation like that, I'm thinking I'll go back and change it to the 50W!
My thought process was, "Lighter oil means less work for pulling in the air".  That's what I get for 2nd-guessing the engineers!
I'll certainly switch it to manual spec next time I tinker :)

Thank you for the heads-up!!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Top o' the Monday evening to you all! 


This weekend has been a blast.  After swapping out the battery (junk battery again - this would be the third battery I've put in since I began!) and buttoning some other things up (fuel, change air filter oil, battery braces, refill tranny gear oil, license plate, etc etc), it was finally time for a little excursion into the wild!


large.57e9b5cac7a23_20160924_01BuickRoadmaster.jpg  Here we go, ready to come down off the stands it's been on for many months...


And here's a short clip I've got for the drive:




I didn't capture any film of the drive in process, but it was great!!  With the exception of the awful, horrible transmission noise.  But the brakes performed great, the steering was tight, the engine was smooth, and the transmission [mostly] shifted like a dream!



  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

@wndsofchng06 @First Born  It's been absolutely rewarding, fun, and exciting!!  Part of me is already queuing up the next list of repairs I'd like to make.  But another part of me wants to leave the car as is, just for a little while longer... to take a few more drives before the weather turns too sour... :)... It's amazing how much attention it gets when rolling through town!  But the whole "no rearview side mirrors" and "making sure I brake early" leave me so focused that I can't make a lot of eye contact with passers-by, ha!

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Decided to take the Buick out for the evening yesterday!


I knew about an informal gathering of classic cars that takes place at a local Hardees each Thursday night, so I decided to show up!




As the new car around, it got loads and loads of attention, and I was more than happy to talk about it :)   It was a good way to spend a relaxing evening!  After returning home (had to leave somewhat early, because there aren't enough functioning running lamps for it to be legal while driving in the dark, ha!), I snapped a quick picture of the stable!!




So serious question for those who read this:  I've done some looking through the shop manual, looking through the owners manual, and some online searching, but it has all been to no avail (so far).  While I was reading through some other threads in the "Me and My Buick" forums, I stole this picture from a gent's '48 Super and placed it next to mine:




Sorry about the darkness of my engine picture.  So the question is:  There is a unit of unknown function that rests in between the distributor and the oil filter.  My engine has empty brackets there, but the '48 example has a cylindrical unit wired in.  What is that component?? 


Many thanks!!  Hope your respective weekends go fantastic!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

Time for a small update!

While I had the car assembled, I entered it into a local car show - the "Billings All Original Car Show" on July 15th!

It was great talking to all the passers-by :) 

But, as I drove it the mile or so home, transmission clanking incessantly, I knew that was the last jaunt I was going to take before substantial disassembly.  Since then, it's been up on jack stands, getting little more attention than the occasional hour here-and-there spent cleaning literal pounds of dirt and grime away from the underside components (in hopes of accessing soon).  The goal in mind is getting the transmission out.  When researching the "how", I learned I would need to disconnect the rear axel assembly.  Well, fear of the unknown, fear of the perceived caliber of the project, and insecurity in my abilities kept progress at a complete stand-still for several months.  BUT, as of 9/29/17, I [finally] found the initiative to dive head-first into my pending project.  And I'm sure it's no surprise to anybody reading this, but you know what I found out?  That this process is actually very simple:


Step 1:  Disconnect e-brake at equalizer

Just remove the one nut that's tensioning it up.



Step 2:  Disconnect Hydraulic Brake line between left strut and frame



Step 3:  Disconnect Crossbar

This was behind the rear differential.  Removed the pin nut on the right, then the two bracket nut/bolts on the left.



Step 4:  Disconnect Shock Absorber Links

The upper link simply slid off the lower link.  I'm guessing if the bushings were any good, one would actually need to remove the pin out of the lower link.



Step 5:  Disconnect the Coil Springs

Removing the upper bolt on each side freed the springs from captivity
(no picture... whoops.)


Step 6:  Disconnect e-brake Harness from Torque Tube (near universal joint)
Step 7:  Disconnect Toque Tube from Universal Joint

The e-brake harness (top of pic, below) was freed with two quick bolts.  The torque tube was attached via six bolts to the universal joint (bottom of pic, below).



At this point, the entire rear axle/wheel/strut assembly is entirely disconnected from the rest of the vehicle.  Gentle pressure was placed on the assembly by tying the rear differential (which was still connected to the torque tube) to an anchored come-along... and eventually, *pop*, the spline shaft slid out of the transmission.


Now it looks like I need to figure out how to finish removing the transmission...  Looks like I'll have to find some "transmission pins" and "engine jacks" before proceeding...  Any advice??

I love progress :) 

Edited by Kaftan (see edit history)
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Kaftan changed the title to TK's 1946 Roadmaster 76-S

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
  • Create New...