Buicknutty

My new infatuation, a '69 Electra

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Not that same distributor at all guys! This was another used one, but it the bushing was fairly tight when I put it last year, after my crash. I am seriously thinking of getting a rebuilt one, which whether or not that is the issue, I'm going to need anyway.

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              On your miss.....try changing the spark plug. they can be defective and look fine but go open, then the spark jumps around inside the cap instead of 

through the plug wire which can't find a ground, thus no timing light pulse.

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 Thanks to all, my son and I are going up north to chases mosquitoes around for a week, and I have been so busy getting everything else caught up I haven't had much time to work on the car.

 However, I did order a remanufactured distributor, as the bushing has too much play in it, and whether or not that is the cause of the miss, it needs to be replaced. It should be waiting for me when I get back home.

 Keith

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 Well, I got packed for tomorrow, and tried changing the plug, as I have several spares, but alas, no change. Thanks for the tip though.

 Keith

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 Well it is nice to find a smoking gun. As I might of mentioned before, I was out of town for a while again, then I spent a couple of days catching up, but finally got back to my Buicks.

 While I was away, the rebuilt distributor I ordered arrived, so I pulled the old one today. When I had a close look at it, there are a row of small magnets that act as the trigger for a spark pulse, and one was missing! AHA! The smoking gun at last!

 So it sounded like a simple thing now to put the new one in, set the timing and fire it up! Not so fast. First the new one wouldn't go all the way into the housing. It kept getting hung up on the upper "boss". After a few tries, I got my micrometers out and did some measuring, and sure enough the replacement was a couple of thou larger, than the old one, and too large for the hole. So, a bit of very careful filing later, and trying it from time to time, it fit better, further down than before, but it still wouldn't go all the way down, maybe 3/8th to 1/2 inch too high. Several tries later, moving the oil pump shaft back and forth, I gave up. Looking at the gear, it seemed very slightly different, so back to the calipers and micrometer. Sure enough it was several thou different. After some careful thought, I finally decided to swap gears, and then lo and behold, it fit all the way. A bit of fiddling with position, and it started up and it ran great! By now it was getting late for this guy, so tomorrow I'll finish setting it up.

Keith

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Good ol' Pertronix... hopefully this next go about will be maintenance free! I have noticed a trend through my own research that in the last couple years, the company isn't as good of quality as it used to be, having gone through three different modules myself before putting the points back in.

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 Poor quality is sure frustrating, potentially hazardous if it leaves you stranded in a dangerous situation. I went with the Pertronix as I had issues with the points last year, only to get about 2,500 miles or less out of the unit. I suspect that it might still be under warranty, but I'm not sure if I want another one. There's the money, but also the time I've wasted chasing the problem, and fixing it again.

 In the last few years I've had so much trouble with sub standard parts.

 I now have the car set up pretty good, and am ready for a test drive!

 Keith

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 Test drive was quite successful, a bit of tweeking on the advance, and I have a sweet running Electra again!

 Thanks to all!

 Keith

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 Well after a few more trails and tribulations (my Mother's expression) things are once again looking good for my Electra. Third test drive and she is running nice, again, so it looks like a wonky condensor is what put it out of action most recently. We have a tour of about 200 miles or so this coming Sat, and hopefully we can drive it in that.

 Also, I received my award from the BCA meet in Brookfield, Wisconsin, in which it was judged in the Archival, or Unrestored class. I posted a couple of pictures, one of it, and one myself with the award. I got my judging form, and it did quite well, scoring 380 out of 400 for originality. I lost points mainly on underhood items, like an incorrect battery (-5), wrong overflow bottle, wrong hose clamps, the engine had been painted, and a couple of other things, otherwise it would of been about 390 or so. This judging is based on originality, not condition. So a completely original car which looks in very run down condition, can score very high, if its' completely original, and one did just that.

 Plus a shot of my current mileage, which is kind of a neat number, for those folks that are into such things.

 Keith

 

 

Electra Keith PlaqueSml.jpg

Electra BCA Plaque.jpg

Electra Mileage.jpg

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25 minutes ago, Buicknutty said:

 Plus a shot of my current mileage, which is kind of a neat number, for those folks that are into such things.

 

Electra Mileage.jpg

 

The odometer from my avatar: :D

 

1273.jpg.fbe88bbbaf18756738cb782d9d6a189d.jpg

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3 hours ago, Buicknutty said:

This judging is based on originality, not condition. So a completely original car which looks in very run down condition, can score very high, if its' completely original, and one did just that.

 

Looks great Keith.  I find it very hard not to clean and paint things when they are off the car, but that's exactly what I have done with the Estate Wagon, and in Portland 2014, it scored 398/400.  It's a 1978, so perhaps a little easier to keep the thing original, but I now have to remind myself not to touch up, paint, or otherwise make things to pretty. 

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33 minutes ago, dmfconsult said:

Looks great Keith.  I find it very hard not to clean and paint things when they are off the car, but that's exactly what I have done with the Estate Wagon, and in Portland 2014, it scored 398/400.  It's a 1978, so perhaps a little easier to keep the thing original, but I now have to remind myself not to touch up, paint, or otherwise make things to pretty. 

 That's how the engine got painted. I had to take it apart to do some internal repairs, and I could not resist cleaning and painting too.

 Keith

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3 hours ago, KongaMan said:

The odometer from my avatar: :D

 

1273.jpg.fbe88bbbaf18756738cb782d9d6a189d.jpg

 That's neat, so much like mine! Thought I was the only "eccentric" into odometer numbers.

 Keith

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Posted (edited)

 Well Folks, I haven't posted here on this thread for some time, lots of things have transpired, but the thing that relates to my '69 is Electra the engine is out for a rebuild. I haven't had the heart, in a way to share this with you guys (girls, too, if you're here), but this is how it went down. The oil pressure had been borderline since I got it, and I put an auxilary guage on to be to monitor it better, and it was just OK. Then late last season the pressure seemed to be a bit worse, and a mild tick developed when cold about August, and it was worse by the end of Oct when I put away for the oncoming winter. The tick was coming from the left side, and after Christmas my son and I started investigating. First thing we noticed was a little bit of coolant on the top of the head. Bad news. So I took the intake and oil pan off and there were a few shards of metal, soft and non magentic, so I presumed it was babbit. Then on the advice of a friend I put the intake back on, sealed up the cooling system and he pressurized the cooling system, and it took quite some time, but a tiny drop of coolant stared ozzing out of seemingly invisible spot near the base of the  no. 4 valve spring.

 After a couple of weeks looking at options, and my preferred rebuilder said that he had enough time to get my engine done by May, as this was/is our preffered ride to the National in June.

 So, my new camshaft suffered some damage, as well as the bearings, of course. The rockers and bores were worn, but not bad, but since its' out and apart, its' getting a rebore and new valve train parts as well. So a thorough and complete rebuild. I was able to source good heads from a local Buick guy, and the rest of the parts are coming from TA performance. Our theory is that it had water in it when it was brought up from California, and it was allowed to freeze up. Then the cleaning and use of the car opened up this small crack in the casting.

 I know what coolant contamination looks like, and what it can do, but the oil always looked good, none of the usual foaming that I've seen in water and antifreeze contaminated engines before.

 So, that's my sad story, about my beautiful Electra.

 Keith

ElectraNoEngine.jpg

Edited by Buicknutty (see edit history)
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That sucks...thankfully you didn't wipe out the crank.

 

The 430's are notorious for cracked heads in valve seat area.  Hope to see it in OKC!

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It's really sad :( , I wish you good luck for the future.
The problem came from the oil pump or coolant that was replaced by water ?

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 The oil pump I replaced, and added the hardened lower plate that the gears run against. So the coolant slowly dripped out of the crack in the head, and destroyed the bearing babbit. I believe that its' the glycol component which has some kind of affinity for the babbit used in bearings. So its' the way the coolant interacts with the bearing material, and not simply the poorer lubrication qualities.

 At least that is my understanding, there are many here which have a greater depth of knowledge than I.

 

13 hours ago, Smartin said:

That sucks...thankfully you didn't wipe out the crank.

 

The 430's are notorious for cracked heads in valve seat area.  Hope to see it in OKC!

 I have since learned that cracks are an issue with 430 heads. My replacements are early 455 heads, and are better, and these checked out good. They will get Stage 1 valves, as part of the refurbishment.

Keith

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 Well folks, I haven't posted anything about my car, or its' engine problems for a while, but I got the engine back from the rebuilder a couple of weeks ago, and now have it installed. Here's a couple of pictures of it during the process. Got it running, did camshft break in, and then got it reasonably well set up. I also had my calipers out for rebuilding, and the one that needed sleeving (the other had been sleeved sometime in the past) took months to get done, I was getting rather grumpy, and worried about getting it back, or worse, if some misfortune had befallen it in the process.

 Started putting miles on it a few days ago, and the brakes were very spongy, but I was sure I had them bled, I've had this before with fresh discs, they need some time to seat in, and they are now.

 I had it out on the highway for the first time today, at low highway speeds, like 55-60 for about 15-20 ,iles, and it started to run hot, like up towards 200, on a day that's about 70, back at 45-50, its' around 165-170, on a 160 stat. I was in a drive through for 5-10 mins, and it hardly built any heat at all.

 So, I have a few things to check out, but I wonder if the clutch fan is not working right, or if the timing is messed up. Just did an intial setting, and didn't check the advance, etc., but the dist is new a year or two ago, likewise the fan clutch, a NOS unit I bought here a couple of years ago.

 Otherwise, it is running well, smoother all the time, as all the new parts settle in about 185 miles on it now. Last shot was today when we got home.

 Keith

 

ElectraCrane.jpg

Engine1.jpg

Engine2.jpg

ElectraHouse1.jpg

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57 minutes ago, Buicknutty said:

I had it out on the highway for the first time today, at low highway speeds, like 55-60 for about 15-20 ,iles, and it started to run hot, like up towards 200, on a day that's about 70, back at 45-50, its' around 165-170, on a 160 stat.

 

-Looks like your thermo vacuum switch is headed to an incorrect hook up.  Did you change this set up to match the manual on page 67-15?

 

1427412897_69thermovacuumswitch.thumb.jpg.ac4c7bc9bbab816bb4ef6abb90c7070f.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Yes, I got that routed correctly, realized my mistake as soon as I went back to work on it the next day. I was gettng tired, and that's what happens when one gets a bit over the top on fatigue!

Hope to have it there in Oklahoma!

Thanks.

Keith

Edited by Buicknutty (see edit history)
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On 11/11/2015 at 7:01 PM, Buicknutty said:

 Well, here's my next question. This stems from an early comment someone made about the wheel covers on my car not being correct for the year. So here's a couple of shots, one of the front, which is all chrome, and the rear one has a black middle section, which you can see. The light isn't so good under the skirt, but the inner panel of the cover is flat black, and the other three are like the front one.

 Also, on ebay right now, there is a NOS '69 wheel cover for sale, and it looks very similar to the ones on my car, but my car has the fake spinner.

 They look good on the car, I have promotional material for my car, but nothing that shows either type of wheel cover. The seller told me that they were an optional, fancier cover, but correct for the car.

 Any comments?

 Thanks for looking.

 Keith

 

post-119367-0-83837100-1447290060_thumb.post-119367-0-93639100-1447290086_thumb.

  Someone may have commented on the covers somewhere in this thread, but if not, the cover with the silver trishield on black background is specific to the `63 Riviera. The other covers, with the multi-color trishields, are correct for other full size Buicks from `63 to `67 with the exception of the Electra in some years. There are characteristics which would distinguish `63 covers from later covers, like the projection of the spinner, but impossible to tell just with these pics.

Tom Mooney

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12 hours ago, Buicknutty said:

 Well folks, I haven't posted anything about my car, or its' engine problems for a while, but I got the engine back from the rebuilder a couple of weeks ago, and now have it installed. Here's a couple of pictures of it during the process. Got it running, did camshft break in, and then got it reasonably well set up. I also had my calipers out for rebuilding, and the one that needed sleeving (the other had been sleeved sometime in the past) took months to get done, I was getting rather grumpy, and worried about getting it back, or worse, if some misfortune had befallen it in the process.

 Started putting miles on it a few days ago, and the brakes were very spongy, but I was sure I had them bled, I've had this before with fresh discs, they need some time to seat in, and they are now.

 I had it out on the highway for the first time today, at low highway speeds, like 55-60 for about 15-20 ,iles, and it started to run hot, like up towards 200, on a day that's about 70, back at 45-50, its' around 165-170, on a 160 stat. I was in a drive through for 5-10 mins, and it hardly built any heat at all.

 So, I have a few things to check out, but I wonder if the clutch fan is not working right, or if the timing is messed up. Just did an intial setting, and didn't check the advance, etc., but the dist is new a year or two ago, likewise the fan clutch, a NOS unit I bought here a couple of years ago.

 Otherwise, it is running well, smoother all the time, as all the new parts settle in about 185 miles on it now. Last shot was today when we got home.

 Keith

 

ElectraCrane.jpg

Engine1.jpg

Engine2.jpg

ElectraHouse1.jpg

Keith,

  It is very common for a fresh rebuild to run on the hot side as components become accustomed to playing together and push any marginal components in the cooling system over the edge. Also, if your engine is running hot on the highway this has nothing to do with airflow issues, as in a defective fan clutch, no shroud, etc because there is plenty of air flow as the vehicle is traveling at speed. Usually, when the engine heats up under load at higher speeds, the issue is coolant flow or the efficiency of the radiator.

 I was a fleet mechanic for UPS for almost 4 decades and it was shop policy to ALWAYS install a new radiator with a fresh engine. This policy seemed to remedy any overheating issues after installing a rebuilt engine and eliminated comebacks.

Tom Mooney

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Quit trying to baby that car and drive it like you stole it!  You cannot hurt it unless you hold it in gear past the shift points.  A careful rebuild with modern components and the available better lubricants can be driven hard right away.  Continued conservative driving will never allow the rings to seat and you will be using up to a quart of oil per tankful.

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