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conversion kits for 41 buick limited 90 limousine


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I just purchased a 1941 Buick Limited 90 Limousine and need to buy some kits to have my mechanic convert the steering and brakes to Power systems and change the 6 volt system to 12 volt.  I am a total beginner at this and wonder if you all have any suggestions about where to order the parts and what kind is good for this car?  I have a long way to go.... This is a before picture. will post the after photo later...Thanks!!      Excited~41limo

my buick 3.jpg

my buick 2.jpg

my buick.jpg

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Welcome to the AACA Discussion Forum. I have moved your post from the Forum Software Questions forum to the Pre-War Buick Forum. I am sure you can find some good information here. The first thing that I would ask you is why do you feel the need to make some of your proposed changes? My 1937 Buick is a good example of an original car that is perfectly fine to drive with the original steering and brakes as well as the original 6 volt system. It is much easier (and better in my opinion) to fix what is wrong with a car than to try to modernize or modify it. When these cars were new they were perfectly safe and reliable. Fixing what is wrong with it can make it so again. Many attempts to modify cars result in unintended problems.

 

The most common parts suppliers that I am aware of for many prewar Buick parts is Bobs and CARS:

 

http://bobsautomobilia.com/shop/

 

http://www.oldbuickparts.com/cart/index.php

 

 

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First, Why do you want to change from 6volt to 12 volt?  The cars ran well then and will now if the pieces are in good shape.  If you try to change over the system you will have a lot of work and gremlins that can come out of the wiring.  It is more than putting a 12 volt battery in the car and changing the light bulbs with a new generator.  Look at the gauges, radio, starter, etc....

 

The same goes for the rest of the car.  Like MCHinson said the cars are good drivers when they were new and still are if the basics are attended to.

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i agree with both larry  and  mchinson.    i have a 1942 buick 90  bone stock and very original.   what a great car.  stops great  and  goes even better,  can cruise all day long at 60 mph.  and  hit 70  when ever i want.    starts right up with the   6 volt system. 

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The only thing I have heard of is the disc brake conversion which, as has been eloquently pointed out by Matt Harlow (I think, apologies if my memory is faulty), doesn't help much with stopping distance but does help with repeatability since drum brakes can fade with repeated hard application. If you live in a mountainous area it might make a difference, but if you are in a relatively flat area it may not be worth the money if your current brakes are in good shape.

 

Cheers, Dave

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You should find your Buick perfectly acceptable as it was designed and produced by the factory. There really is no need to "Modernize" as these Buicks are fine driving cars as intended. Additional systems tend to unnecessarily complicate. The Buick steers very easily without power steering. A proper rebuild of the factory brakes is more than adequate for reasonable driving. The six-volt electrical system works beautifully in my 1937 Roadmaster, especially since I use triple-aught (000) sized battery cables - too many restorers try to get away with modern lightweight 12-Volt cables which will not carry proper current in a 6-Volt system. Then they try to "Modernize" a perfectly good car!

1937 Buick - Sarah Wedding 1.jpg

1937 Buick Front night in New Orleans.jpg

1937 Buick Right Front on Esplanade.jpg

1937 Buick Left Rear - Esplanade Ave.jpg

1937 Buick Left Front - Sarah's Wedding.jpg

1937 Buick Open Left Front in Texas Glidden.JPG

1937 Buick with marty and Nathan.shs

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I agree with Marty. I have a 1940 Roadmaster conv sedan and the only "modern" thing added were radial tires.

As Marty states the car steers, rides, stops fine. Why not keep the car with its original systems and try it out before you decide to change something?

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5 minutes ago, Walt G said:

I agree with Marty. I have a 1940 Roadmaster conv sedan and the only "modern" thing added were radial tires.

As Marty states the car steers, rides, stops fine. Why not keep the car with its original systems and try it out before you decide to change something?

 

Thanks Walt,

 

By the way, My 1937 which is pictured above, is an all-original car - unrestored

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Making the changes sounds fine, but don't rush into it. Do the routine maintenance on the original systems and try it stock for 30 or 40 years. Then if you don't like it move forward on the modifications.

Bernie

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I have a '41 Limited limousine as well and have found the brakes in particular are the strongest pre-war brakes I've ever experienced. Even in a massive car like this, they stop well and don't give up easily. Two weeks ago we attended a show with it with two very long downhill grades where trucks were warned to use a lower gear. I babied the Limo down the first hill but it turns out it was totally unnecessary, the brakes were just fine when I just coasted down the second. The Limiteds have brakes that are about 20% larger than the other 1941 Buick models and the drums are cast iron, not steel, so they're exceptionally durable. They're also some of the first finned drums, albeit circumferential not radial, used on production cars. Don't worry about power brakes unless you're planning on upgrading for more speed.

 

As for power steering, maybe I'd be up for that. It's heavy at low speeds and at a standstill, but again, the car was designed without power assist, so it's manageable. It's my opinion that it's a mistake to simply start upgrading parts without knowing the efforts. I'm guessing that you haven't driven the car up above there and that someone somewhere, perhaps your mechanic, told you that you just had to upgrade to power steering and power brakes because these old cars are impossible to drive without them. That's BS. They were driven regularly when they were new, they can be driven regularly today. In fact, my '41 Limited is my daily driver right now. I like it better than my '41 Cadillac 60 Special, which is a much smaller car with notably inferior brakes and about the same steering effort. I'll probably put radial tires on eventually and that should reduce effort even more.

 

Oh, and the 12-volt myth just won't die either. You don't need 12 volts to make these old cars run today and in the Limited, which has many more complex systems than a standard '41 Buick, you're going to lose some functionality on some of the coolest features. The heater/defroster system, for example, is unique to the Limited. My car has a working AM radio with rear speaker, which I've never seen before. The power division window is also powered by a 6V motor, and that's about the neatest feature of the car--why put up with the hassles of a limo if the power divider doesn't work? Lose the six volt electrical system and all that stuff stops working and then you're on your own to figure out how to make it all work again--there's no kit or how-to book to tell you what to do. Then you have to re-engineer the gauges, the lights, the ignition system, and all this other stuff to make the car work. Why not leave it alone, get it into working condition, and use it? It was reliable in '41, it'll be reliable today. Trying to reinvent the wheel very rarely results in a better wheel...

 

Check out the article I wrote below. It should be enlightening.

 

Cool car. Big project. Have fun!

 

1941 Buick 90 Limited vs. 1941 Cadillac 60 Special:

Buick_vs_Cadillac.pdf

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Still here, waiting for the hamburgers and macaroni salad to get dished up. I like what Matt writes. Look at his history, some good stuff.

 

I did have a thought. How about grafting that Buick front clip onto a 6 litre Silverado crew cab?? Ta da, all done.

 

Bernie

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Well, WHY would he return, he wasn't given a BIG WELCOME and a HUG.

 

Of course you know how, 'I' feel,  The site has a modified section, but MOST really don't give a D -- about helping someone that wants to make changes to his/her car.

 

I sent him a PM, and will be happy to assist him should he decide to modify his Limited.

 

I'm sure he felt most posts were SCOLDING him for the thought of making the changes he is looking for.

 

Dale in Indy

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I disagree that anyone was scolding him. I don't care what he does with his car, but he's got a big project ahead of him, he hasn't even driven the car, and I'm guessing that someone put a bug in his ear that the modifications he describes are mandatory to be able to drive any old car. I think that's a mistake and I think that's largely what's feeding the "resto-mod" trend--guys who know nothing about old cars being told what to do by shops with experience doing it only one way: Chevy crate motor and 12-volt wiring.

 

I also think that if you're starting a project you should set goals before you start working. If he wants to build a modified car and put modern components in, great! That's where he should start and make a plan. But if he's going to keep it largely stock, then I think it's a needless waste of time, money, and resources to try to change major systems that don't need changing. I can't tell you how many cobbled-up cars that are otherwise pretty nice but have completely buggered electrical systems because some backwoods mechanic figured that 6 volts just wouldn't work in today's 12-volt world. Everyone gets it in their heads that old brakes don't work, so they need modern brakes, and to get modern brakes they cut off the frame and weld on a Nova clip and pretend that's an upgrade, never mind that the Nova's brakes were never designed for a 5500 pound limousine, but the 1941 Buick brakes were. I'll tell you right now that my Limited will lock up all four tires just as easily as any modern car with 4-wheel discs (sans ABS, of course) and if you're driving it hard enough for brake fade to be an issue, then you're going to have to install some pretty huge discs to handle it, along with suspension upgrades and a lot more motor. The stock brakes are more than even that giant car needs, even in today's world. I haven't found their limits and I drive the car daily, on the highway and up and down hills. In that car, brakes are the least of my worries.

 

So nobody is looking down on him or scolding him, we're helping to guide a rookie who might be getting bad advice from other quarters. I remember my very first bright idea when I bought my '41 Century was, hey, a 12-volt upgrade seems smart--my dad was always having trouble with those 6-volt batteries on his old cars. Someone wise talked me out of it and I've since learned that the batteries aren't the problem. I'm glad of that, because not only is wiring a thankless job, it's easy to get it wrong and create untraceable gremlins that may never get fixed, and we all know how that kills a project faster than just about anything.

 

I hope the original poster comes back and asks more questions. I hope he gets the car running and driving, however that works for him. I don't care if it's stock or if it has a blower hanging out of the hood (which would actually be pretty cool), I just care that he does it with his eyes wide open instead of listening to people that say old stuff is bad just because it's old.

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Well said, Matt.  I've always marveled that people automatically assume "6 volts is worthless", without thinking that there might be other issues (and there always are, from grounding to wire size to bad starter), and without reflecting on the fact that millions of cars started thousands of millions of times for over 50 years on 6 volt....

 

I can see the appeal to lots of people of the ubiquitous small block Chevy, cheap and good power, but there's no imagination or individuality there.  Also, a SBC in that Buick Limited might give a shock to the driver, as it would have little of the low end torque that the Buick straight eights of that time offered.  The Chevy has 250-300 ft-lbs at 3500 rpm, while the Buick engine had 278 at half that speed.....

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I will 'admit' I didn't make my comments as clear as they should have been.  Sorry about such.

 

I should have stated comments like WAIT 30-40 YEARS, and GRAFT THE FRONT CLIP ON A TRUCK were IMO not helpful to the original poster.  I'm sure the posters were having fun, but doubt the owner was looking for such answers. 

 

To me any NEW poster should be handled with softer words/comments.  I have noticed that to many former posters are not around anymore, and that isn't good for the site/us, IMO

 

Now back to working on my MODIFIED Limited, just havin fun. 

 

My car is a driver, there is no way keeping it stock was going to work for me, I like higher highway speeds, better MPG, power this and that, and a CHEAP hehe Chevy, GM piece was perfect.  Don't anyone be confused, the Chevy SB is as good an engine that has ever been produced.  That's just NOT  me sayin.  I love the straight eight, but it wasn't going to work for me. 

 

Dale in Indy

 

Dale in Indy

Edited by smithbrother (see edit history)
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On ‎6‎/‎30‎/‎2016 at 0:54 PM, MCHinson said:

Welcome to the AACA Discussion Forum. I have moved your post from the Forum Software Questions forum to the Pre-War Buick Forum.

On ‎7‎/‎4‎/‎2016 at 7:16 PM, First Born said:

      Five days!     Dollar to a donut he does not come back.

 

 

 

  

 

Maybe he can't find his original thread because the mod moved it. 

To the OP: Please don't modify that 1941 Limo.  They did not make very many of them. 

 

On ‎6‎/‎30‎/‎2016 at 0:54 PM, MCHinson said:

 

 

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Hey yall,  thanks for giving me so much information to contemplate regarding my 41 Buick Limited 90.  At this point, it is not running and I am ready to start sinking some funds into it and I want to make informed decisions.  I just spoke to a classic car restore expert and he said that to change the steering will costs thousands and there are no kits for that conversion. He also said to convert the brakes to power will also be a real challenge and quite expensive too. I'm not under any illusions that to restore this car will be cheap, but I don't want to fix the same thing twice if I can help it.  My partner and I are starting a classic car limousine business and I want to make sure the vehicle is safe and easy enough to drive.  We want to install AC and wonder if 12 volt is the only way to do that.  I am a sucker for this car even though my landlord says he wants me to cover it because it's old and rusty.  I still think it's beautiful! 

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41limo - good for you! It sounds like it would be cool to have something like that as a for-hire car. Since it is not running, I would say that should be the first thing - get it going and drive it some so you can get a better idea of what you might need to fix.

 

Of all the conversions you mentioned originally, the 12V one is actually something not that difficult to do, at least compared to the others. I don't know if there are any 6v AC systems out there, maybe someone on here knows. I also think I have seen mention of a 6V alternator, so maybe that would suffice rather than doing the whole thing.

 

One other thing, if you are going to use this as a for-hire, there may be more stringent requirements on the car equipment (i.e. it may have to pass a commercial vehicle inspection) than for a regular historical vehicle that isn't used nearly as much. It varies by state so you are going to have to look into it to see what you may have to do.

 

BTW, tell your landlord to p!ss off! It's a beautiful car in any condition!

 

Cheers, Dave

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I would not just say that a 12 volt conversion is easy as replacing the light bulbs.  I would look for a 6 volt compressor etc. before I would even think about converting the car.  There has been a lot of discussion on 6-12 volt conversions.  Do a quick search and read the pros & cons for a while after you get a cup of coffee.

 

I for one would not make the change.  The cars operated well when new and all of the wires, battery cables were correct size in good condition, etc. 

 

Good point if you are thinking about "One other thing, if you are going to use this as a for-hire, there may be more stringent requirements on the car equipment (i.e. it may have to pass a commercial vehicle inspection) than for a regular historical vehicle that isn't used nearly as much. It varies by state so you are going to have to look into it to see what you may have to do. ".    Check this first.

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On 7/5/2016 at 6:45 AM, Matt Harwood said:

I disagree that anyone was scolding him. I don't care what he does with his car, but he's got a big project ahead of him, he hasn't even driven the car, and I'm guessing that someone put a bug in his ear that the modifications he describes are mandatory to be able to drive any old car. I think that's a mistake and I think that's largely what's feeding the "resto-mod" trend--guys who know nothing about old cars being told what to do by shops with experience doing it only one way: Chevy crate motor and 12-volt wiring.

 

I also think that if you're starting a project you should set goals before you start working. If he wants to build a modified car and put modern components in, great! That's where he should start and make a plan. But if he's going to keep it largely stock, then I think it's a needless waste of time, money, and resources to try to change major systems that don't need changing. I can't tell you how many cobbled-up cars that are otherwise pretty nice but have completely buggered electrical systems because some backwoods mechanic figured that 6 volts just wouldn't work in today's 12-volt world. Everyone gets it in their heads that old brakes don't work, so they need modern brakes, and to get modern brakes they cut off the frame and weld on a Nova clip and pretend that's an upgrade, never mind that the Nova's brakes were never designed for a 5500 pound limousine, but the 1941 Buick brakes were. I'll tell you right now that my Limited will lock up all four tires just as easily as any modern car with 4-wheel discs (sans ABS, of course) and if you're driving it hard enough for brake fade to be an issue, then you're going to have to install some pretty huge discs to handle it, along with suspension upgrades and a lot more motor. The stock brakes are more than even that giant car needs, even in today's world. I haven't found their limits and I drive the car daily, on the highway and up and down hills. In that car, brakes are the least of my worries.

 

So nobody is looking down on him or scolding him, we're helping to guide a rookie who might be getting bad advice from other quarters. I remember my very first bright idea when I bought my '41 Century was, hey, a 12-volt upgrade seems smart--my dad was always having trouble with those 6-volt batteries on his old cars. Someone wise talked me out of it and I've since learned that the batteries aren't the problem. I'm glad of that, because not only is wiring a thankless job, it's easy to get it wrong and create untraceable gremlins that may never get fixed, and we all know how that kills a project faster than just about anything.

 

I hope the original poster comes back and asks more questions. I hope he gets the car running and driving, however that works for him. I don't care if it's stock or if it has a blower hanging out of the hood (which would actually be pretty cool), I just care that he does it with his eyes wide open instead of listening to people that say old stuff is bad just because it's old.

Hello!  Thanks for your detailed reply.  I have few more questions for you and am so grateful you have first hand experience with this kind of car.  Regarding the 6 volt, Do headlight perform more dimly with 6 volt? and Can I run AC and a modern stereo on it?  How would I get AC if it doesn't run on 6 volt?  I am curious about the 12 volt system with a resister to the original 6 volt gauges?  I am glad to hear the original brakes will be good, and I heard that steering wont be too hard with original system, besides I guess there are no kits for this conversion and it costs thousands to do with tons of problems in store.  thanks a million for your wisdom!

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There are 6V halogen headlights available through a few suppliers. Others may know more, but I have heard of 6V A/C systems, but I do not know where to source one. I also drive a stock '41 Roadmaster quite a bit, so I do know these cars. The way they drive truly belies the age of the engineering beneath you. Though it does depend on one's expectations, as you are planning doing more than most of us do with yours.

Keith

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Hi,

 

My 2 cents and well worth it...

 

Your headlights will be fine if you have your mechanic install a relay so that the headlight current is not going through the switch.  If your mechanic doesn't know how to do this, get another mechanic.

 

Between the Cord, my 37 Buick, and my past-owned Lasalle, I often had folks ask me to "drive weddings," offering cash under the table.  I avoided them like the plague.  The liabilities are near infinite, as are the costs of insurance and meeting livery vehicle standards and licensing.  Do your research carefully before you jump into a business with a car that is not intended to be in your business.

 

--Tom

 

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This is good, we're glad you're here and that you've got a plan. I think your idea to use this as a livery vehicle is a good one because there's a business to be made driving brides around in an old car. I get three or four calls a week for such a thing and have to turn them down because it's not my business. But if it were, the '41 Buick limo would be ideal. I've attached some photos of my car so you can see what yours can look like when it's done.

 

Now, with that in mind as your goal, I do think some updating is in your future. I will agree at this point that a 12-volt upgrade is going to be mandatory. That's the only way you're going to get an effective A/C system. You won't need to worry about the original heaters or anything like that. So put that on your list of to-dos, because no bride is going to want to arrive at the church all sweaty in the back of an old car.

 

With a 12-volt change, you can also upgrade the radio, which they'll probably want, too. Put it in back so they can pick their own music. That's easy.

 

I don't know about the power divider window. I've attached a photo of what it looks like in there, and it's pretty simple. The main thing is a small electric motor (shockingly small, actually) and some pulleys and limit switches that turn it off when it is all the way open or closed. You might find a suitable 12-volt replacement, maybe a power window motor or something. It doesn't have to be hugely powerful. Or just put it up and leave it up and don't worry about it, just install an intercom. I've attached a PDF of the power divider window service bulletin so you can see how it works.

 

There are some who might think an engine/transmission/rear axle upgrade would be warranted, and I wouldn't argue with them. The original engine is plenty strong, but it's relatively slow overall. It's bloody fast for a 1940s limousine, but in today's traffic, it's a bit ponderous. You don't want a hot rod, you want reliable and smooth and comfortable and no worries. And for that, a modern powerplant and automatic transmission would be worth considering. Get a wrecked pickup truck, pull the engine, transmission, and rear end, and sock them in the Buick. They'll fit and it'll have much better performance. You'll have to do plenty of fabrication, but it would deliver speed, comfort, and reliability all in one relatively neat package. Yes, I'm ordinarily a purist, but given the car as it sits today and the way you're going to use it, this isn't a bad option. Keep the original steering, front and rear suspension, and maybe even brakes (you aren't going to go THAT much faster) and it'll greatly simplify the build. Replacing the rear axle will mean modern brakes so maybe you get the Wilwood front discs and you're good to go. Keep the original wheels and tall whitewall tires for that old-fashioned look. Don't put fat radials on it, they never look right.

 

Getting the gauges to work isn't impossible. The oil pressure and temperature gauges are mechanical, so they'll work with any engine, and if you have an alternator, you won't need the ammeter anyway. The fuel gauge may work on 12 volts, I'm not sure. And while I usually rail on guys who take the easy way out and just stick some aftermarket gauges under the dash when they modify their cars, it's not a horrible solution (see photos of my car below, although the under-dash gauges are in addition to the original gauges, not instead of--they all work). The speedometer is mechanical and depending on the transmission, they can probably be made to talk to one another with a little creativity. Or put in a set of 100% new gauges, at this point, making the car work right is a little more important than originality and nobody but the driver will see them. Most "civilians" don't know the difference anyway.

 

I think this is a cool idea and you can make some money with such a service. You have a huge project ahead of you, but this is probably the most economical way to get that car back on the road in the condition you need it to be in for a business. You're beyond authenticity at this point, but I would urge you to keep the exterior stock and paint it a factory color. If you look on YouTube, there's a white '41 Buick limousine that looks like crap and has a small block Chevy in it. Looks like real hack work. Do yours better than that and aim for an OEM look with upgrades invisibly integrated under the skin. You can cut a lot of corners if you're not going for absolute authenticity (like interior trim parts, which are unobtainium), which will make it a lot easier.

 

I think this is a cool and worthy project. Keep us updated, please!

 

$_57.JPGBuickEngine.jpg$_57h.JPGBuick_dash.jpgBuickJumpSeat.jpgBuick_Back_Seat1.jpgDSC_7245a.jpg

 

 

DividerWindowStuff.pdf

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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You can get larger lumen/ or LED headlight bulbs.  Those kind of "upgrades" are relatively painless and do not add new gremlins into the system. 

 

Also changing a lot of other systems the question becomes...as an example what kind of brake pads do I use and what vehicle do they originally came from???? and the list goes on for every "upgrade" 

 

There is nothing like looking into an old parts book to easily find the correct part to fix your car and not trying to guess where "that part" came from.

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On 7/5/2016 at 6:45 AM, Matt Harwood said:

I disagree that anyone was scolding him. I don't care what he does with his car, but he's got a big project ahead of him, he hasn't even driven the car, and I'm guessing that someone put a bug in his ear that the modifications he describes are mandatory to be able to drive any old car. I think that's a mistake and I think that's largely what's feeding the "resto-mod" trend--guys who know nothing about old cars being told what to do by shops with experience doing it only one way: Chevy crate motor and 12-volt wiring.

 

I don't ever come in to the Pre-War forums, but I just wanted to point out that this is exactly what happened to me in the beginning of my restoration. I put disc brakes front to back on my 56 Buick, did a master cylinder conversion, an electronic ignition kit and some other things that cost me a lot of time and money. Currently, the car has stock brakes and a points/condenser ignition system that works as intended, whereas the modifications didn't perform to the same degree. And I think I can be bothersome and annoying in the Post-War forums at times because I'm largely ignorant to a lot of car stuff, but I really do hope that the great people on these forums realize how valuable their information has been to me and consecutively all the other users on this board that are in a similar place as me. My car is on the road, with many thanks to a lot of users who have convinced me that a stock system is more than satisfactory (granted a lot of it really needs to be NOS with the way things are produced these days, but that's besides the point). I cannot thank these forums enough for my progress and it would be vastly ignorant to not heed their advice. Of course, mods can be fun, but as Matt pointed out in his post, only if that's your intention.

 

Sorry for a bit of derailment, that line just hit pretty close to home for me.

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I'm glad to see my comments are read, even singled out. I wrote to experience the car for 20 or 30 years.. How long have the forum members owned their cars? I'm in my 38th year with one and my 16th with another. Even a year or two of doing the things that will be needed whichever way the car goes is not unrealistic or ridiculous. If fact it is pretty smart to schmooze up to that big ark before that long relationship with "My Mechanic" starts.

 

My grocery money comes from a place other than cars and the long haul (I just looked in the refrigerator so I must be doing something right), the long haul, to the observant, is a balance between concept and details in all endeavors. Conceptually, to me, that car is raised on an orthographic axis in my mind and every layer of detail is apparent from experience. It is a big 1941 Buick limo with systems that overlap a decade and a half in either direction, a complicated car to a 1930 trained mechanic and relatively common maintenance for the mid-'50's guy.. But the concepts and details are married and inherent to the car.

 

In post #25, above, Bright headlights, AC,  modern stereos, and 12 volts are sure conceptually Silverado crewcab to me. They aren't 1940's Buick. Yes, graft the front clip on a Silverado was my comment, as well, two for two! The original question shows a disconnect between concept and detail merely in asking if there is a kit.

 

One might be taken by the concept of orbiting the planet in a rocket and unconcerned with characteristics of certain O-ring materials under varying weather. Sound extreme? That Buick could suffer an end of life experience. Anyone who has paid an electric bill would be shocked to think of generating electric at $1200 per KW. I saw it. Details put the boss to sleep.

 

So what is this '41 Buick? Conceptually it appears to be for accepted participation with a select peer group with a retro look and all the modern amenities. That's a whole different concept than what is sitting there today. The $80,000 + to "My Mechanic" ain't gonna sit well in the end. Better to look for a good deal on a $20,000 car in the fall when someone doesn't want to store their car.

 

Or send me a PM. I'll sell you one of my cars.... oh, hell, the humor in that will get missed.

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Scold?  I just wrote a scathing reply but did not send it.  But yes I'll scold.  The 1941 Buick Limited is not only the pinnacle of Buick production....and I'd go so far as to say before or after the War. But, it is a Full Classic and recognized as such by the Classic Car Club of America.  There are very few models of Buick that currently hold that title, and the Series 80 and 90 are the only ones at this time.  It is not just said to be rare, it is actually very rare.  If somebody wants to modify, why don't they pick some more plentiful car, not destroy a rare Full Classic.  They don't make them anymore folks!  I can't even find a driver quality 1941 Buick Limited to buy at anything near a reasonable price.  Just don't do it. Please.

 

Don't say to me, "well you restore it then."  I'm too old.  But I did one once, back in 1975 and won an AACA Senior with it.  I've regretted selling that car to pay for a house many times over since that day.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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Flat Top, the blue car in the picture I purchased on Oct 19, 1963.  That's 53 years, and I still love it, even when it gets cranky at the wrong time.  That's usually my fault or my mechanic's fault.  Suzybelle, will be in my garage the day I die.

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On 6/30/2016 at 7:38 PM, Daves1940Buick56S said:

The only thing I have heard of is the disc brake conversion which, as has been eloquently pointed out by Matt Harlow (I think, apologies if my memory is faulty), doesn't help much with stopping distance but does help with repeatability since drum brakes can fade with repeated hard application. If you live in a mountainous area it might make a difference, but if you are in a relatively flat area it may not be worth the money if your current brakes are in good shape.

 

Cheers, Dave

And disc brake discs warp.  I just had those in my 2001 Park Avenue turned, next time it's new rotors.  I've had drums turned too, but only if they had been allowed to go so long that the rivets bore into the drum.  I had a 1980 Century that required rotor truing every 10,000 miles.  Sometimes something new isn't necessarily better than something old, it's just faster and cheaper.

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2 hours ago, Dynaflash8 said:

And disc brake discs warp.  I just had those in my 2001 Park Avenue turned, next time it's new rotors.  I've had drums turned too, but only if they had been allowed to go so long that the rivets bore into the drum.  I had a 1980 Century that required rotor truing every 10,000 miles.  Sometimes something new isn't necessarily better than something old, it's just faster and cheaper.

 

There is nothing wrong with the rotors on your car that using a torque wrench to put the tires on would not fix on the first and every time the tires were R&R'd.

 

What causes rotors to get pulsation is that the tires are usually rotated and an impact wrench is used to put the tires back on the car.  Using an impact wrench applies uneven pressure on the rotor and they then run out of true.  It is usually about 3,000-5,000 miles after the tires were R&R usually for a tire rotation or inspection of the brakes that a pulsation develops.

 

With the pulsation caused by improper installation of the tires for the rotor to run not true you will get a variation in thickness of the rotor and that is the pulsation when the brakes are applied.  The only fix at that time is to turn the rotors back to true or replace the rotors.  ALWAYS USE A TORQUE WRENCH WHEN INSTALLING TIRES ON YOUR VEHICLES!  Torque to the factory specifications in the correct sequence.

 

If you ever have anyone putting tires on your car be sure to use a torque wrench and you will not have any brake pulsation problems.

 

The only caveat to this statement is if the car sits for a long time in a damp atmosphere you can get what is called "lot rot" which is where the brake pad rusts to the rotor and this causes a bad spot in the rotor.  Depending on the severity of the rust spot it might go away with some usage, but might not.

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Hmm. Interesting. Evidently they need more courses for the people who mount the tires at the factory (1980 Century) and the tire dealers who mount the tires.  I've never had any tires mounted correctly.  Now I know, and I'll be on them the next time.

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 I'm tending to agree with Matt, if you are really going to use it as a livery car. I'm sure that there will be a good market, as long as your area is one that will support such a service. That's your business and you should know that.

I also tend to be a purist, but done properly, the modifications will make it more practical for your business, and just as important, I think, it will go a long way to showing how wonderful these cars are to younger people that might of just got to ride around in a nice new Lincoln or Caddy. One of the issues with running an original drivetrain, is getting parts and that. Like if the water pump goes, you want to get one from a parts shop today, not wait days to get one shipped in. Just an example, but you get what I mean.

I too get many offers, but I dislike using my cars for commercial purposes when I have the typical vintage car insurance, so I do freebies for people I like, and the car gets a LOT of attention. Much more than modern machinery ever would.

Last words (for now), between you and your mechanic try to engineer everything you can in advance, and cost it out, allowing for overruns before you start, so that if halfway through the project becomes unfeasible you won't have sunk a lot of money into it, plus really messed up a very special car.

Keith

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35 minutes ago, Buicknutty said:

 I'm tending to agree with Matt, if you are really going to use it as a livery car. I'm sure that there will be a good market, as long as your area is one that will support such a service. That's your business and you should know that.

I also tend to be a purist, but done properly, the modifications will make it more practical for your business, and just as important, I think, it will go a long way to showing how wonderful these cars are to younger people that might of just got to ride around in a nice new Lincoln or Caddy. One of the issues with running an original drivetrain, is getting parts and that. Like if the water pump goes, you want to get one from a parts shop today, not wait days to get one shipped in. Just an example, but you get what I mean.

I too get many offers, but I dislike using my cars for commercial purposes when I have the typical vintage car insurance, so I do freebies for people I like, and the car gets a LOT of attention. Much more than modern machinery ever would.

Last words (for now), between you and your mechanic try to engineer everything you can in advance, and cost it out, allowing for overruns before you start, so that if halfway through the project becomes unfeasible you won't have sunk a lot of money into it, plus really messed up a very special car.

Keith

  

 

 

 

Hi Buicknutty, Good advice.  I definitely am going to keep the car mostly original and bring it back to a respectable life on the road again. I am making a list of parts,costs,labor etc.. and happy I just crossed off converting brakes and steering.

Good suggestion to have some backup parts, esp..if I don't want to cancel on someone's special wedding plans!

 

How many of these cars actually still exist that you know of?  

 

Cheers, 41limo

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5 hours ago, Dynaflash8 said:

Scold?  I just wrote a scathing reply but did not send it.  But yes I'll scold.  The 1941 Buick Limited is not only the pinnacle of Buick production....and I'd go so far as to say before or after the War. But, it is a Full Classic and recognized as such by the Classic Car Club of America.  There are very few models of Buick that currently hold that title, and the Series 80 and 90 are the only ones at this time.  It is not just said to be rare, it is actually very rare.  If somebody wants to modify, why don't they pick some more plentiful car, not destroy a rare Full Classic.  They don't make them anymore folks!  I can't even find a driver quality 1941 Buick Limited to buy at anything near a reasonable price.  Just don't do it. Please.

 

Don't say to me, "well you restore it then."  I'm too old.  But I did one once, back in 1975 and won an AACA Senior with it.  I've regretted selling that car to pay for a house many times over since that day.

 

 

 

It was good to hear your praises about this car, and it's rarity. I had a feeling about this car when I saw it for sale on Craig's list.  I just had to have it, no matter what shape it was in.  When I searched for a car under $4000, that runs well, between the years of 1940 and 1970, this was the one that claimed my attention, and my devotion (and my money!) I have heard much advice about this car since posting my inquiry about starting to fix it.  I hear you the others clearly and am inspired to do it honors and keep it mostly original. The only things I think I will need to do different is some of the electric, but that will be invisible change.  Will keep you posted on it's progress! 

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19 hours ago, Beemon said:

 

I don't ever come in to the Pre-War forums, but I just wanted to point out that this is exactly what happened to me in the beginning of my restoration. I put disc brakes front to back on my 56 Buick, did a master cylinder conversion, an electronic ignition kit and some other things that cost me a lot of time and money. Currently, the car has stock brakes and a points/condenser ignition system that works as intended, whereas the modifications didn't perform to the same degree. And I think I can be bothersome and annoying in the Post-War forums at times because I'm largely ignorant to a lot of car stuff, but I really do hope that the great people on these forums realize how valuable their information has been to me and consecutively all the other users on this board that are in a similar place as me. My car is on the road, with many thanks to a lot of users who have convinced me that a stock system is more than satisfactory (granted a lot of it really needs to be NOS with the way things are produced these days, but that's besides the point). I cannot thank these forums enough for my progress and it would be vastly ignorant to not heed their advice. Of course, mods can be fun, but as Matt pointed out in his post, only if that's your intention.

 

Sorry for a bit of derailment, that line just hit pretty close to home for me.

 

 

 

good to hear, leaning towards just fixing the parts that need fixing rather than changing it. !!!!!

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