Kosage Chavis

1955 Buick Century

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Yes Sir.  I plan to send them out to get refurbished when the time comes, including any calibration.

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I may have used the wrong word in "calibration".  What I meant was to calibrate yourself to the gauge.  By using an infrared thermometer and the same boiling pot of water, document the temperature of the water and the temperature on the gauge face, so that when you are driving you can associate a number with a gauge position.  Otherwise you'll always be guessing.  I would say to look for the position of 160*, 180* 200* and boiling point of 212*, if your temp gauge is not already maxed out by an earlier temp point. 

 

Remember, Willie says that the gauge max's out at 200.  And I have no doubt it will.  But since it is mechanical, it's liable to deviate from others.   

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So, I go out to the car last Saturday to get something done and soon after, the sky decides to fall down.  Not too long after, the ground under the carport begins to pool with water.  I had to cut things short...yet again:angry:.  However, I did get a couple of things done.  I was able to remove the vent control lever assemblies.  20160925_145743.jpgFirmly remove all 3 knobs from the levers.  Next, remove the 2 fan switches at the top of the assembly.  Each switch is retained by a decorative flat nut.  Place the end of a flathead screwdriver in one of the splines of the nut at an angle.  Gently tap the back end of the screwdriver continuously while turning the nut counterclockwise. 20160925_150720.jpgBe sure to be patient and keep the screwdriver from slipping.  Eventually, the nut will loosen enough to turn by hand.  Move the switches out of the way.  Each lever control assembly is held in place with 2 bolts accessed from behind the dash.  20160925_150623.jpgRemove those bolts and move control levers out of the way.  You will now have access to the retaining screws for the bezels for each control lever.  Remove both screws to each bezel and simply slide the bezels out from front.  Finally, you will release cables from each lever control.20160925_150449.jpgEach cable is held in place with a small bracket and small screw.  Simply loosen each screw and release the cable from it.  Then, remove the cable at the loop, from the lever assembly.  Be sure you label each cable before removal.  A shot of the entire vent lever control assembly removed from car.20161010_142123.jpg

 

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Finally...I was able to get a descent amount of time on the Buick this passing weekend.  I started with the ignition lock assembly.20161016_163145.jpgFirst thing you do is insert the car key and switch it to the OFF position.  Then, insert something long and rigid that fits in the pinhole.  I used a nail.20161016_163245.jpgYou will then push in on the spring loaded pinhole and while holding that in, turn the whole switch clockwise.  Keep in mind this clockwise turn is only a slight turn.  Slide the inner cylinder out.  Chances are that the cylinder will not slide out easily and you will have to wiggle the cylinder while pulling at the same time.  20161016_163404.jpgOnce you remove the cylinder, you will be left with the bezel.  Removal of the bezel is accomplished at the rear of the dash.  You will start with loosening 2 hex head screws, 1 at each side of the assembly.  Only one of these screws appear in the picture below.  The other screw on the far side is a bit difficult to access.20161016_161129.jpgThe screw on far side is best accessed from this opening just above the slot that is shown with the bolt still attached.  I used a 3/8 socket wrench with an extension. 20161016_163050.jpgOnce you have loosened both hex head screws, grab the rear end of assembly and twist until it becomes free from the rest of the bezel and pull out from the rear of dash.  This will now give you access to both bezel retaining screws.20161016_163854.jpgRemove both screws.  Showing part of the ignition assembly removed from car.20161016_181610.jpgThe other portion is still wired to the car with the inner cylinder reinserted.

 

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Can you post a picture of the switch that's still hanging in the car, from the front of it?  I just wanted to see the holes where the hex screws were.  I imagine these holes are actually slots which allowed you to twist the switch out? 

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2 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

Can you post a picture of the switch that's still hanging in the car, from the front of it?  I just wanted to see the holes where the hex screws were.  I imagine these holes are actually slots which allowed you to twist the switch out? 

I will post a picture sometime in the afternoon/evening, today.

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2 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

Can you post a picture of the switch that's still hanging in the car, from the front of it?  I just wanted to see the holes where the hex screws were.  I imagine these holes are actually slots which allowed you to twist the switch out? 

John, I have some marginal quality pictures on my website too.

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5 hours ago, Kosage Chavis said:

I will post a picture sometime in the afternoon/evening, today.

As requested.  Hope this helps.20161018_154326.jpg20161018_154336.jpg

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Just a quick off subject here... John, your 56 ignition switch will look a bit different in that it will not have the bump out for a light socket. In fact, how are the 56's ignition switch illuminated.

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I did not know either year's switch was illuminated.  Can't say as I ever saw any light in Dad's 55 Special, and never noticed one in either my former 56 Roadmaster nor this Super.  Does not mean there wasn't any, just never saw any light emanating from there

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36 minutes ago, MrEarl said:

Just a quick off subject here... John, your 56 ignition switch will look a bit different in that it will not have the bump out for a light socket. In fact, how are the 56's ignition switch illuminated.

I had no idea that the 55 buick had an illuminated ignition switch.  Was this standard or optional?  Funny, I was wondering why Buick would design the ignition in this manner when I saw it for the first time.

Edited by Kosage Chavis (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, JohnD1956 said:

I did not know either year's switch was illuminated.  Can't say as I ever saw any light in Dad's 55 Special, and never noticed one in either my former 56 Roadmaster nor this Super.  Does not mean there wasn't any, just never saw any light emanating from there

 

1 hour ago, Kosage Chavis said:

I had no idea that the 55 buick had an illuminated ignition switch.  Was this standard or optional?  Funny, I was wondering why Buick would design the ignition in this manner when I saw it for the first time.

 

I think 54 was the first year, followed by 55, just not sure about 56. JD the bulb may have been blown in your dads 55 and being such a pita to get to and change can understand why it would not be on the top of anybodies to do list.

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When I removed my ignition switch, there was no light bulb with mine.  Looked at the wiring diagram...nothing sticks out to me.  

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2 hours ago, Kosage Chavis said:

When I removed my ignition switch, there was no light bulb with mine.  Looked at the wiring diagram...nothing sticks out to me.  

 

at mine too, also no bulb for it...

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Just for giggles, I went out to the car and wanted to see if a light socket assembly pulled from the gauge cluster assembly would fit on the ignition assembly.  It fit perfectly.  Now, I am thinking about running a dedicated light bulb to the ignition assembly.  Just need to find an extra light socket.

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Back to the removal process...I removed the light switch assembly next.20161016_154822.jpgPull the switch out on the 2nd (last) setting.20161016_154831.jpgPress and hold this spring loaded button on the backside of the switch assembly.20161016_154858.jpgWhile pressing the spring loaded button, pull the switch shaft out all the way.20161016_154938.jpgThis will give you access to the switch assembly retaining nut.20161016_154949.jpgGrab a flathead screwdriver with a wide flat head and unscrew.20161016_155201.jpgShowing part of the light switch assembly out of the car.  20161016_181638.jpgI decided to leave the wired portion of the switch on the car.  Will be removed later.  The task overall was pretty easy.

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9 hours ago, Kosage Chavis said:

Just for giggles, I went out to the car and wanted to see if a light socket assembly pulled from the gauge cluster assembly would fit on the ignition assembly.  It fit perfectly.  Now, I am thinking about running a dedicated light bulb to the ignition assembly.  Just need to find an extra light socket.

 

Did some digging, and found this:

 

Good old tri-five merch. Fits up to 57-2CP lamps, which is the dash lamp for the 56. Might be the same for 55? It's a one wire, you would just need to splice into the current wiring harness and clean up either with a butt connector or some good old fashioned electrical tape. Before purchase, you may want to consider measuring the size of the socket hole and see if it is 5/8".

 

You can probably find others, but NAPA only turned up twist on, and so did other chains (RockAuto, etc). Didn't find anything on Bob's, CARS, etc.

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More removals...up next was the windshield wiper switch.  You will have to gently pry the switch away from the rest of the assembly.  I used a probe and did the job just fine.  Just stay away from anything that might scratch.20161016_154026.jpgThe front of the switch will slide out like so.20161016_154037.jpgThis will give you access to the retaining nut.20161016_154122.jpgGrab a pair of needle nose plyers and place the two ends of the needle noses in the slots of the retaining nut.  Unscrew and remove.20161016_154307.jpgOnce the switch assembly detaches from the dash, remove both hoses from assembly.  One cable will remain intact to the switch.  You will need to fish the switch through part of the dash in order to gain freedom from the dash.  This portion of the switch will remain in the car and will be removed later.20161016_173755.jpgShowing part of the windshield wiper switch out of the car.20161016_181624.jpgOverall this task was moderate.  

Edited by Kosage Chavis (see edit history)
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 I think I have had the wool pulled over my eyes. Many years ago someone told me that you have to push in on the washer button and turn right while at the same time pulling out on the switch to remove it.  And I have use that technique to pull many!  Try pushing and pulling at the same time, Yep, I  think I was bamboozled, bet they are still laughing. 

 I have pulled several 55 ignitions that had the the integral lightbulb socket, but never actually looked for the light bulb socket and wiring.  I just checked the 54 and 55 wiring schematics and sure enough it shows on the 54 but not the 55.  It was a really neat feature and I am really curious as to why they stopped doing it in 55.  I checked the 54 product service bulletins and did not see where there had been a problem. 

Kosage,  I can furnish you a light socket and bulb when you get ready to put it all back together. 

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LOL.  Well, at least you removed many using that method without anything breaking (I assume).  It's also a very good possibility that the same man that advised you to remove the switches in this manner, probably knew no other way to do it.  More than one way to skin a cat, right?

 

I appreciate the offer for the light sockets.  When Doug pulled the crank spacer for me, he threw in 2 light sockets as well.  So I should be okay for now.

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On my car, I have a speaker control switch.20160917_153032.jpgIf I had a knob, I would have just simply pulled it off.  This would give you access to the retaining nut.  Unscrew and remove from dash.20161008_152443.jpgShowing the switch removed from dash.  The switch will be removed from car at a later time.  20161008_152426.jpgThis task was easy.

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