Buicknutty

My new infatuation, a '69 Electra

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

Keith;

In my travels recently I came across a 66 LeSabre with these exact wheel covers (at least with the satin black backing).  That car looks dead stock and someone is using it as a daily driver, so I'm assuming the covers are correct.  They even have the knock off centers.  Here's a page from the 66 brochure.

 

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Edited by dmfconsult (see edit history)
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Well folks, the Electra is out and about a little bit again, trying to dodge those piles of salt left over from the Spring snow storms! Seriously though, that's why I haven't had it out much, but hopefully that part of our life is over till late in the Fall.

I just got a front end alignment, the centre link was changed just before it went into storage, but the shop that did it could not do the alignment as there was too much front fender out from the wheel openings for their new equipment to work on. So I took it to another local guy who has the old racks and cameras and he did a careful job setting it up, and now the steering wheel is straight, and it tracks perfect.

 I also took the driver's door panel off to try to fix the door pull handle. It looks to of been fixed (tried too be!) a few times in the past. There was electrical tape covering up some wire that was twisted around the mounting points, plus silicone, plus two types of cement that looked like an epoxy of some kind.

 There were two issues. One, the handles being plastic which are held in by screws which had pulled out of the base of the handle, and the metal base has studs that go into through the door panel and are held in place by some small retainers behind the cardboard of the door panel. The metal piece and retainers have stood up well, but of course the cardboard had broken.

 Unlike my older cars where the door pulls are mounted through the panel to the door frame, and are very solid the design on the '69 was weaker and bound to fail.

 I made up a piece of stainless steel sheet (so there would be no corrosion issues) that the studs would mount to in the back of the panel and would cover a much larger area than the original did. That worked out quite well, and is invisible now its' in place.

 I cleaned all of the c..p off of the handle, and its' base, put some fresh screws in from the back with the base set in epoxy. It feels very solid now, and looks way better than the really bad repairs it had in the past. No one had actually taken it apart to try to repair it, and I'm hoping that with careful use, it will last for a while.

 If I find some good ones sometime, I'll pick them up as spares.

 We are planning a weekend tour with some McLaughlin Buick Club friends to the Niagara area and plan to travel in the Electra, so a 3-400 mile weekend of driving is coming up!

 Keith

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Here are a few pictures of today's work. The side mouldings have a quarter inch black plastic bumper strip, but on the left side it has been pulled off completely at some point in the past. A large retailer in Canada, Canadian Tire sells a lot of vinyl pinstrips of various sizes and colours, and I found some that was the exact width, and in a black that closely matched the gloss of the original.

 It looks almost identical to the original, though of course it is not as thick. A bit hard to photograph well, but I hope that you can see the progress well enough.

 Keith

 

 

Electra side before.jpg

Electra side strip.jpg

Electra Side2.jpg

Edited by Buicknutty (see edit history)
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 Here are a few pictures of the replacement side window seal from the other day.

 Keith

 

 

Seal Old New2.jpg

Seal Old New2.jpg

ElectraSideWindow.jpg

New Seal.jpg

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Those rear quarter window seals ought to help quiet the ride quite a bit.   Nice touch!  

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So, next little problem I'd like to fix is the parking release handle, which has been broken since I bought it.

Does anyone out there have one they can sell me?

Thanks.

Keith

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So folks, I need a bit of help again on my baby. I was trying to figure out the timing and that today, and found that this vacuum valve has a broken connector at the bottom, the one marked MT. There does appear to be a leak there, but how important is this. I read through the manual and unlike the older models, this one, for emission reasons does not have vacuum applied to it at idle. Someone has also removed the "T" and replaced that line to completely bypass it.

 So it looks like I will need to find a new one of those.

 Also, there is a green wire with a connector on it which from reading the shop manual that looks like it is supposed to be for a head temp sensor, in addition to the one on the manifold. It seems odd to me that it has two sensors for temp, but that is what the book says.

 Any comments?

 Keith

 

ElectraValve1.jpg

ElectraValve2.jpg

ElectraWire1.jpg

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I was able to source some older valves right from my NAPA store.  I don't know if they have that particular one or not.

 

The head temp sensor is screwed into the back of the head where that wire can reach it.  That particular sensor is for metal temperature, while the other sensor you mention is for coolant.  The service manual does describe how the temp lights work with both sensors.  If I recall correctly, there are actually two temp lights on the dash. right next to each other. since your wire is not hooked up I wonder if your metal temp sensor is even there.  It just looks like a large pin head sticking out the back of the head  between the engine and fire wall.

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 Thanks, John. No one here seems to have one of those valves. I could not find a terminal on the back of the head, but I will get a mirror and see if I missed it. I do suspect that the heads have been off at some point, as the gaskets don't look the age they should, my opinion, of course.

 Keith

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Keith, Does the diagram in the service manual show what hooks up to that port?

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hello, me too that room was broken and I could find a new one. (I think it adjusts the pump that regulates the ignition?)

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I tried another parts place and they were able to come up with the part. Some folks know how to find those elusive parts better than others!

Sebastien, As far as I understand, it controls when the spark advance kicks in, to help regulate emissions. There are others here that know more about this than I do.

Also, do you mean that yours has or had the same problem?

Keith

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 Well, I have a bit of bad news to share about my baby. The back story, is that I had been having some issues with hard starting and pre ignition and it had been getting worse in the last few weeks. So I started to try to adjust the timing, and then it quit, I started it and it ran strange, a lopey idle, and it hasn't run since. I have been trying various things, and then I pulled the distributor out, and the drive gear was seriously chewed up. As far I can see, the cam gear looks alright, but of course it is difficult to see it very well. The other thing that it had been doing, and at first I attributed it to timing too far advanced. When I cranked it over, it would load up, just as if it was firing early, then crank and run, till it didn't run any more.

When I had the ignition disconnected it was doing the same thing, and I thought that it might be the starter. So I pulled that off, and it was pretty old looking, and I took it to a local rebuilder and he went through it for me on a same day turn around, and said that it was really in need of a rebuild. These are honest guys, who have done work for us old car guys for many years, so I believe him, and trust their work.

Here's the kicker though, I had my wife crank it while I looked down through the hole that the distributor came out of, and it was doing the same thing, loading up at the start of cranking, then cranking normal, or near normal at least. The loading up, as I said still sounds as if it were firing too early. So I don't know what would be binding in the system to cause this.

 I'm thinking that I might start to take the timing chain cover off tomorrow. I wonder if there could be issues in there as well.

 This is kind of a serious problem as this was to be our ride to Allentown in a few weeks. So I very much hope that I can get it fixed in time!

 Keith

Edited by Buicknutty (see edit history)

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The timing chain may have jumped a tooth on the cam sprocket.  I'm 99% certain that your engine has the dreaded nylon-clad aluminum cam sprocket.  These are notorious for the nylon cladding cracking and falling off with age and/or mileage.  If that's what you do discover, then in addition to simply installing an all metal replacement timing set, be sure to drop the oil pan and clean out all of the debris (both cam and distributor gear trash).  Leaving that crud will only lead to trouble later when it blocks the oil pump pickup screen...

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Thanks Mr EmTee.

I did a compression test on the left bank, and I have between 150 and 180 on the four. The lowest was the second from the front, so its' a bit weak, but plenty of compression to run, so I was thinking that the timing chain was still OK, but now, of course I'm having second thoughts.

I think that for sure I will need to pull the timing chain cover off. I have seen those nylon teeth in bits before.

It would try to fire a bit from time to time, but would not actually continue to run.

Off to pick up the trusty '56 Roadmaster now, and then I guess I start wrenching on the Electra.

Keith

 

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If you can get one of those camera scopes you may be able to pull the fuel pump out and then get a visual on the cam gear.  Harbor Freight sells those relatively inexpensive.  Of course the chewed up distributor gear is a big issue, for which you probably have to take the timing chain cover off anyways. This sounds like sudden increase of endplay in the cam.  I hope it's something that can be fixed easily. 

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hello, yes I have changed this part.
the lateral strips on the body are referred or stuck?
thank you

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John, I was looking at a camera scope, but the cheapest I can find here is $100. or so, and I'm not sure if it will tell me what I want to know, so I'm thinking of starting to pull the timing chain cover off now.

Keith

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Well I got the timing chain cover off this evening, and it looks like a tooth, or a fragment of one broke loose and dropped into the cam gears. The cam sprockets are steel, so perhaps they have been changed in the past.

So it looks like the dist gear on the end of the camshaft is bad, and it appears to be cast into the shaft. Plus the chain and sprockets. Hopefully that will take care of the the problems once repaired. Next I will have to get the parts and gaskets.

Keith

 

 

Engine3.jpg

Engine2.jpg

Engine1.jpg

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Oh man!  I am sorry to see this!  Please let us know what brand that crank shaft gear is when you get it off.  Looks like you'll have to decide which way to get the room to replace the cam shaft.  Either remove the hood and pull the engine, or disconnect the condenser for the AC and remove the hood latch support plus the grills. Since the r 12 is still somewhat hard to come by this will be a hard decision.

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I know it will be tough to get the cam out, and I just had charged, so I don't want to lose it, but also I do not have an engine hoist, and I don't want to go to that much trouble. According to the book, I will have to lift the engine a bit to get the pan off, and I was wondering if I could get away with unbolting the condenser and squeeze the cam out that way. The will be today's project.

I'll post later about how it goes.

Keith

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