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Correct '64 425 Colors


dwhiteside64
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Hi all,

I'm in the process of having my motor completely rebuilt from the ground up. Because of this, I want to clarify what factory colors the engine and it's associated parts were painted. I really don't need to discuss what shade of green was used as there has already been many threads devoted to this topic. I was only wondering if all accessory brackets, water pump and piping, intake manifold, ect., were painted green as well. Any details regarding this will be most appreciated.

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                    The A/C, power steering and alternator brackets were painted Buick Green, along with the entire engine, including

the water pump, timing cover, block , intake, water crossover, water pump and thermostat housing and oil pan. The power steering pump

and all pulleys were painted 60 degree gloss black

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The a/c - alternator bracket and power steering brackets are painted the same color as the engine.  Think of it this way.  There was no way that Buick was going to loosen torqued or sealed bolts in order to install brackets.  Torqued would include head and intake manifold bolts, sealed would include water crossover pipe and thermostat housing.  The rear a/c bracket, which does not use torqued bolts, is black as is the fan, pulleys, and power steering pump.  Also, that bracket would not be necessary on a non a-c car so it could be painted elsewhere.

 

post-93305-0-91569000-1447373709_thumb.j

 

I pulled this picture from Google images.  It's part of an OPGI ad.  Even though OPGI considers itself "expert" in the field of Rivieras, you'll notice that the snorkel on the air cleaner is not correctly oriented.

 

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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I don't know.  It would seem counter productive to have someone standing by just to insert that part after the engine had been painted and if it was left open then paint would get into the valve train.  I'm guessing that they were green when the engine came off the assembly line.  I've seen what I think are original ones that are brittle and cracked and they're green.  If the engine has had the plug replaced, then they're probably installed as received - black.  Silver '63 engines and red '66 engines that I've disassembled have usually had painted rubber plugs as well.  But I'm qualifying all this as a WAG.

 

Ed

 

 

 

WAG = Wild A$$ed Guess

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Ed and Darren, the round seal was painted at the factory but as was stated, the paint on this item does not hold up as well as those on the rest of the valve covers.  I believe this was a knock out so that the oil breather/filler cap could be re-located for different applications.  The oil breather has been in different locations throughout the life of the nailhead and it was probably cheaper to use a seal instead of re-tooling for a new valve cover.  I have seen some with 2 breathers on the same side but they did not come from the factory that way.

Edited by Pat Curran (see edit history)
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Pat,

 

On California cars, there was a tube that ran from the valve cover to the bottom of the snorkel; an early version of emissions control hence the need for a "pop out" plug.

 

???? Name

I'm not sure about the clamp itself but I know that the original cable did not have the auxiliary wire coming from it.  I have a factory photo of a '63 engine that shows the cable but I'm at school right now and don't have access to it.  I can advise you of one thing though.  The battery as shown in the OPGI (Duh!) picture shows the negative cable closest to the radiator.  This is okay if you want the positive post to come into contact with the bottom of the hood and short out your entire electrical system.  The positive post should be closest to the radiator.  Originally the pos cable ran between a couple of filler caps and was then secured to the inner fender.  In a later service bulletin, Buick suggested that the positive cable be sandwiched between the battery and the hold down post.  This was aimed at cars with the four note horn option to keep the pos cable from rubbing against the horn and creating a short.  Do what's best for your car learning from Buick's mistakes.

 

Ed

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Ed, I had the 4 notes on my 64 and I can really relate to the issue you describe!!  The other issue is that you see rust under the hood where it sits over the battery due to corrosion on the battery terminals coming in contact with the hood.  Certainly not a lot of clearance on this design.

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Chasander, yes the clamp that holds the battery cable to the battery post is correct in the picture that Ed posted.  As he and Pat said it is a good idea to put the Positive battery post toward the radiator to avoid a dead short to the hood, and route the positive cable through the hold down to the post to keep it out of the way.  Additionally the positive and negative cables were both black.  In more modern cars the positive is typically red.  

 

Rock On

 

gord

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Ed:  is that the correct style battery clamp on your picture?

No, absolutely not. Spring ring battery style end terminals were not used on the first gen Rivs. The original cables have the more typical clamp/bolt style ends.

Also, the original negative battery cable has a pigtail which attaches to the voltage regulator mount ensuring a good ground to the regulator.

  Tom Mooney

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Chasander, yes the clamp that holds the battery cable to the battery post is correct in the picture that Ed posted.  As he and Pat said it is a good idea to put the Positive battery post toward the radiator to avoid a dead short to the hood, and route the positive cable through the hold down to the post to keep it out of the way.  Additionally the positive and negative cables were both black.  In more modern cars the positive is typically red.  

 

Rock On

 

gord

Not so...the first gen cars did not have spring ring battery cable ends. Also, the positive cable was originally red and the negative cable was black as is typical in the field,

  Tom

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Chasander (name or handle?)

 

Here's the picture that came from a '63 sales brochure.  In it you'll see that the P (positive) cable is next to the radiator, the battery is a Delco "tar top" with yellow caps, and the battery terminals are at the front of the battery.  You can see that the P cable is black and has a typical nut and bolt.  This is a Group 27 battery

 

Most of the guys that I know are using a Group 27F battery; it places the positive post near the radiator but the post is on the back of the battery rather than on the front.

 

Another not of interest is that the '63 valve cover does not have the large rubber plug in it (at least as of the date this brochure was printed.)

 

post-93305-0-47452700-1447458090_thumb.j

 

Ed

 

 

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I have a 66 sales brochure that shows a red power steering cap of course it is a red engine.

 

Chuck

This is a very good example of the drawbacks when using advertising materials, ie brochures, to make a determination as to what is "correct" on the cars as they were produced on a large scale. The brochures are full of prototype models and worse yet, glossed over, made camera sympathetic prototypes which lead to misunderstandings. I have based my determinations on actual cars in the field as representing what is "correct". That experience in the field comes with time and exposure and diligent research.

Regarding battery cables, one will find an original cable has a part number printed on the cable which matches the part number which appears in the one year only Buick parts books. These part numbers are very often one year specific and became superceded into other numbers within a short period of time after the model year. In observing what I determined as original battery cables on cars I have owned, worked on or researched I have found consistently the cable ends for the car in question, a `64 Riv, are traditional style clamp/bolt configurations and the positive cable is red. I have NOS cables which match this criteria. The reproduction cables are supposedly made from GM engineering blue prints and also follow this configuration.

I have many "factory" photos which illustrate cars which were never actually mass produced...like a `65 Riv with a redesigned `63,`64 cast aluminum wheel cover, a `65 vinyl top car with small first design Gran Sport emblems, a `65 Riv with no exterior sail panel moldings and ribbed rocker trim on the lower rear quarters, etc...

  Tom

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Thanks Winston for the quick response and excellent information. I've been away for a while and was wondering how your car did at the Buick National Meets this Summer?

         My car got a Silver award. I need to send off for the judging sheet and check out the deductions. I do know that I lost

a lot of points due to the red line radials and chrome steel valve stems on my wheels. Also they look at the undercarriage 

and my car has the usual dust and surface rust under there as it has never been touched under there except for new shocks and exhaust.

I get so many nice comments at shows regarding the redlines that I don't think I could consider ever going with whitewalls. What I may eventually do is buy a set of painted standard rims and wire wheel covers and mount the correct bias ply 845-15 whitewalls on

them just for showing at the Buick nats. I certainly wouldn't want to drive it on those tires. We did have a lot of fun at the Buick convention, and I got to meet Ed and Gordon, plus I  stocked up on a lot of cool Buick shirts and jackets. All in all a great time! 

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         My car got a Silver award. I need to send off for the judging sheet and check out the deductions. I do know that I lost

a lot of points due to the red line radials and chrome steel valve stems on my wheels. Also they look at the undercarriage 

and my car has the usual dust and surface rust under there as it has never been touched under there except for new shocks and exhaust.

I get so many nice comments at shows regarding the redlines that I don't think I could consider ever going with whitewalls. What I may eventually do is buy a set of painted standard rims and wire wheel covers and mount the correct bias ply 845-15 whitewalls on

them just for showing at the Buick nats. I certainly wouldn't want to drive it on those tires. We did have a lot of fun at the Buick convention, and I got to meet Ed and Gordon, plus I  stocked up on a lot of cool Buick shirts and jackets. All in all a great time! 

 

 

That's a pretty prestigious award! I can just imagine how tough the judging must be, seeing that a car like yours didn't win gold! :)     I try to use your car as a reference for what it "period correct" and feel pretty confident that my car can pass at least the most rudimentary requirements. It's not nearly as clean as yours, but I'm working on it!  :D 

Edited by dwhiteside64 (see edit history)
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  • 5 years later...
On 11/12/2015 at 4:15 PM, RivNut said:

The a/c - alternator bracket and power steering brackets are painted the same color as the engine.  Think of it this way.  There was no way that Buick was going to loosen torqued or sealed bolts in order to install brackets.  Torqued would include head and intake manifold bolts, sealed would include water crossover pipe and thermostat housing.  The rear a/c bracket, which does not use torqued bolts, is black as is the fan, pulleys, and power steering pump.  Also, that bracket would not be necessary on a non a-c car so it could be painted elsewhere.

 

post-93305-0-91569000-1447373709_thumb.j

 

I pulled this picture from Google images.  It's part of an OPGI ad.  Even though OPGI considers itself "expert" in the field of Rivieras, you'll notice that the snorkel on the air cleaner is not correctly oriented.

 

Ed

What is that piece that comes from radiator and covers over fan?

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Air conditioned cars NEED a shroud that completely encircles the fan blade and encloses the area behind the radiator.  This is necessary to make sure that the air is drawn through the radiator.  Non air conditioned cars just have that guard to keep your fingers put of the fan blade. Or your neck tie. 

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My original 1964 with factory A/C did not come with the shroud or the correct fan clutch. Was told that can't happen. Anything could happen in vehicle construction if you don't have the right parts. The line doesn't stop. My Brother was a QA engineer at the St Louis MOPAR plant. He said one night in the early 1960s, they ran out of Plymouth dashes so they built 50 with Dodge dashes. No paper work changes or documentation. Again, anything can happen when you are pushing a vehicle out every minute.

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Years ago on the old ROA internet blog (prior to this web site)  there were more than a few mentions of late 63/early 64 nailheads that appeared to be painted in blue from the factory.  If I find time I may research ...if I can even remember the exact website address...Steve9239

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    There are a FEW differences between cars with A/C & cars without. As mentioned without A/C it ONLY had a finger guard & a 4 blade fan that ran at engine speed & the pulley system spun the water pump at .9 engine speed & had a 3 blade impeller water pump. ALSO the non A/C water pump has a smaller front bearing as evidenced from the diameter of the end of the housing where the fan bolts to. So with P/S & Alternator IF the belts were adjusted correctly there would be a neutral pull on the front bearing the reason it's NOT as H/Duty as an A/c pump.

     Now onto A/C equipped cars. As mentioned A/C cars have a shroud & a 20" 5 blade fan with a H/Duty fan clutch.  To hold the shroud at the bottom were two little brackets that bolted to the core support with little pieces of rubber wrapped around them to keep the shroud in place & to prevent it from rattling. The lower harmonic balancer pulley is larger on the bottom & the water pump pulley is smaller which spins the water pump 1.1 times engine speed.  The water pump has a 5 blade impeller & the bearing on the end is larger due to the fact there is a lot of load pulling one way with the A/C compresser & the Alternator double pulley with 2 belts. The upper bracket is ALSO different in that, as mentioned, ONLY has 1 bolt at the top to hold the shroud in place.

 

Hope that this info is of some help to EVERYONE.  EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know or were NOT aware of.

 

Tom T.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/12/2015 at 6:26 PM, dwhiteside64 said:

Thanks Ed for the added information and pics. Here's a nitpicky question. Was that little round plastic seal on the driver's side valve cover painted green as well? I've seen it both ways on some nicely restored motors.

  The rubber plug in the driver`s side front corner was originally painted.

Tom Mooney

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Questions like this can usually be answered by applying some basic logic to the question.  "Would Buick paint the engine with a hole in the valve cover where paint might get into the rocker assembly.  Like which brackets are engine color and which are not. Do you take out a bolt that has been torqued to paint a bracket then reinstall it out of sequence and hope to get the torque correct?  Alternator/air conditioning bracket is attached with torqued bolts - painted engine color; rear a/c compressor bracket black. Give it some thought, you can figure it out.

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Ed,

 

This is great general advice you have given before that has really helped me personally on my 64 restoration. I tend to be a perfectionist and overanalyze and we're all in a restoration mindset.  The reality is they were banging these cars through the production line focused on volume. 

 

When you step back and look at it through that lens it's amazing how you can just move forward and make progress knowing what decision they most likely would have made on the production line.   

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