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ITS HOT, I THINK I'LL FIX SOMETHING


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When it was pretty cold here in Vegas I used to post little projects I did to our 38 Buick. in the last year I added an overdrive, had a radio rebuilt and added it to the car along with an NOS antenna, fixed the clock, had a one of a kind rare stock fuel pump rebuilt and installed it, had one of my 38 carbs rebuilt and installed it and added a fuel pressure

regulator, cleaned out engine block and radiator and installed new water pump, added new brake shoes and wheel bearings, and I'm sure I forgot something else. We have been driving the car (3000 miles) almost every day before it got 100 degrees plus here every day. Although the car was 100% original when I got it, it now has the non original overdrive, a fuel pressure regulator, an auxiliary electric fuel pump that I can turn on if it ever vapor locks, and a side view mirror, all of which are not original. The car is the only 38 Buick that I have ever found on the BCA that ever won the ARCHIVAL award. In any event at one time in its life the trunk lid was rubbed out and polished and one of the rear fenders had work done to it and the drivers door both had some surface rust that looked like patina but it bugged me so we decided to paint the car. We don't want it to be like a shiny new paint job, we want it to match the dull patina of the original blue that it mostly is now. We are not having the chrome removed or the hood or fenders, it will be masked

carefully and then painted the same color as original that has been computer mashed and then covered with  a flat clear so that it has no shine. Its in the shop now where a friend of mine is doing the work. We think we will get it back in two more weeks. We waited 3 months to get it in there as he does many high end paint jobs. I added a couple of pics before he started sanding it but I hope to add a few more before he paints it as well as afterwords. 

GETTING WORKED ON.JPG

38 GETTING CHERYED OUT.JPG

38 IN BODY SHOP.JPG

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Hi Dave,

That doesn't look like the Kount's garage, from the Kounting Cars TV show.

I see you are masking the belt line trim.

If it were me I would pull the trim, since it is so easy and the clips are readily available.

Same for the side vents, the bumpers and the parking lights, tail lights and door handles.

It would sure help your painter get a good "gun angle" around these details.

 

I was always told, painting a car is 99% prep and 1% paint.

 

Not being picky, but ask me how I know.

 

Mike in Colorado

 

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I didn't want the trim pulled or anything else removed and he assured me that it won't look like the car was just painted, its supposed to look faded but EVEN. If the trim was removed then next I would want new fender welting, then rechrome the bumpers which would lead to the grille, it goes on and on.  I have always been fussy and wanted perfect paint but I am trying to just let this car stay as a super nice driver, more like a car I might of found when I was a kid. I've had many restored cars or beautiful hot rods and it always ends up they get to nice to drive very often. I always needed perfect weather and a special occasion to drive them. The fun of the old Buick is that its real nice but not to nice or to valuable to drive, even if its raining. We use it to go shopping or go get parts for my bikes or go to visit a friend. Still I'm hoping the paint meets my expectations and if it doesn't I can always 

do it again. I have one more small project to do mechanically when we get the car back before it starts to cool off again here in Vegas. This car will easily outlast me but at least we are using it. I am mostly into motorcycles more than cars but the Buick has stayed fun to drive as well as tinker with and unlike a Ford or Chevy you rarely ever see another one.

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I think it is a "proper" job. Its not a "proper" restoration there is a difference. In order to do a class A paint job the car must come apart and new weather stripping and fender welting must be used, then the trim looks bad unless its rechromed, then the original glass with its separations just doesn't look right with new paint so maybe new glass and window channel and new chrome trim and bumpers. Another problem is aligning  up the hood pieces and front fenders after a "proper" paint job. Maybe the old nuts and bolts should be replaced. That can all be done but its not what I wanted. I am wanting it to still look like an old car that was repainted the way we did it when I was young in our garage or back yard the best we could. Hopefully it will turnout as nice or nicer than in those old days as we did have some that we thought were bitchen. This car is just a really nice 90% original low mileage (23000) old Buick that will be driven regularly. 

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Here it is painted but still in the booth drying, I think it is to shiny but the painter says it will be less when int dries. In the morning he will check it again and if it is still to shiny he will put another coat of clear on it that is more flat than the one he already used. In any case so far I like it, the real test comes when the tape comes off. There are no more dings or dents and I think its going to look nice.

more rear view.JPG

rear view.JPG

another nose view.JPG

tape off tomorrow.JPG

Edited by LAS VEGAS DAVE (see edit history)
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Thanks Dale, I will see if he knows how pretty soon. One really GREAT thing that is happening because of the paint job is we are finally organizing our garage. The car has been gone a few weeks so we have added shelves and thrown or given some stuff away. We still need a couple of more days but after 20 years in the same house the garage becomes to much of a storage facility. Its looking pretty good now and with a new garage and a new looking car in it and all the tools and things organized it seems like a whole new house. 

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Thanks Larry, today we went their to see how it looked and to see if we wanted to spray a flatter clear on it. We decided it looked pretty good as it is and he is going to rub it out next week and then I will drive it home. Here are the pictures my wife took earlier today.I didn't want it shiny but it grows on you and my wife likes it so this is the way it will be.  

2ND DAT FRONT PASSENGER.JPG

2ND DAY FRONT DRIVER.JPG

2ND DAY REAR DRIVER.JPG

2ND DAY REAR.JPG

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As you can see in the first pictures of this car with its original untouched paint it is not the same as the last pictures. Although I liked the shiny paint it was not like the original and I wanted the car to be like the original only with no dents or surface rust or worn thru spots. We talked yesterday and decided to do it over and try to get it the way I had envisioned. I don't want the car to LOOK like it has new paint, I just want it to look like old paint on a cherry car. I don't know for sure if that can happen but we will try it one more time. I don't ever want to wax the car, just wash it and dry it and drive it. If its shiny it will need to be waxed and it will show swirls and scratches and it will look restored which I am not looking for. I will take some more pictures soon and see what you guys think.

Edited by LAS VEGAS DAVE (see edit history)
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Hey , 'Vegas , Cadillac Carl here to try to slap a little sense into yaz ! Looka here , I strongly suggest you don't try to squeeze or hammer the geenie back into the bottle. We all know how a substantial appearance enhancement can at first look like overkill. I even had a bit of that after I made the new wheels and put the pinstriping back on the '27 Cad which is , as you personally know , one of those "love at first sight" cars. At first , it looks a little like painting a garish makeup mask on an aging naturally beautiful lady. But with a car , finally you realize that you have revived the objective of the industrial designers and stylists who intended the car to show off , or even flaunt their creativity. Let it be , brother. You will learn to love it , and see it as it was intended to be. Read Larry's posting above , believe it , and slowly pull the masking off. Do a high force machine rouge polish on your bumpers while they are off. Yeah , for a little while things won't seem quite right. Patience , and listening to the compliments of the audience , will make you glad you did it. Really ! And if you ever doubt what you did , just rationalize it away as "ladies choice" ! If you try to re-create patina , you will just end up chasing yer tail , and I don't think you will enjoy what you find if you do catch up. I wanted to post some "before" shots of the '27 , but pics are locking up on me. Gimmee a call if you want. Right now I am temporarily using 408-621-8261. I have been stuck in L.A. , but finally , FINALLY , expecting to get unstuck real soon.  -  CC

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Also , it is a bit like that hippie friend you had for 15 or 20 years. One day , 25-30 years ago , ol' hip' shows up short of hair and clean shaved. What the ......? Uh .......? And then ya say , "huh ! Looks kinda like a movie star !" Pre Easy Rider ! Of course , hair and beard can be reversed. YOU can't go back. Neither , despite efforts to do so , could Elton John 45 years ago. Some things you realize you really made a good move , and enjoy it . Besides , waxing that car will help keep you in such good shape !  -  CC

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I'm a stubborn old guy and not prone to quitting easily so I'm still hoping it turns out the way I envisioned it. I can always make it shiny again. I just completed my fourth day working on our garage. New shelves and a complete reorganizing while the Buick is gone. Lots of work that I've been putting off for many years but its almost done. It looks great and much more room. All the tools and all the different things garages seem to gather now have a place. The Buick will sit on an old oriental rug and my motorcycles fit nicely with room to spare. There is now a small workbench and the garage has its own air conditioning and heat. Many florescent lights light the garage up like never before. This would never have happened if the Buick did not leave for awhile. i have been in this house 20 years and its truly amazing all the stuff I found I forgot I had. We gave much stuff away, if I haven't used it in the last five years I probably don't need it. There are shelves for everything for the Buick and separate shelves for each bikes stuff. I really like the garage once again.

 

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Man , you are lucky to have so much energy and be so organized and able to concentrate the way you do ! Your house is already like a museum , and now I imagine your garage is too. As long as shiny is a fallback , you might just be the guy who can pull it off. The next thing would be to create a totally realistic scent that would make a modern re-upholstry job have that old car smell ! A patina perfume. Hey , good luck !  -  CC

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OK its finally done. This is how I wanted it. It will get shinier as it gets washed and rubbed on but it will take time. I could wax it but I won't. It will develop a patina over time. The old glass looks great along with the old chrome and fender welting and rubber parts. The body is slate straight and the interior is all original and almost mint, it still has the old car smell. It only has 23000 miles on the car so its like a new old car. Lots of fun to drive and different than most seen at car shows etc. Next week we will drive it home, its still being detailed and will take about 60 days for the paint to fully cure. Hope you still like it.

FRONT DRIVERS NO SHINE.JPG

FRONT PASSENGER SHINE.JPG

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Dale it was repainted this morning with another coat of clear. The clear had a flattener added to it. Most clear coats are high gloss, this was the opposite. The clear still protects the paint but it does not shine. However if it was buffed it would shine just like the high gloss clear which does not need to be buffed to shine. Since every time you wash the car you rub it with a cloth and soap and then rub it again afterwards it is just like buffing it except it takes way longer, maybe years but it does get smoother and shinier each time. It could also be polished and waxed just like paint that didn't have clear on it and it would shine, but of course it would only last as long as the wax and then would be dull again. Because of this I am in complete control of how shiny it looks. With the original old glass with its separations and the original weather stripping which is in great condition and the original fender welting and original chrome which is nice but not new the car just looks like an old that has aged very well. That is the look I wanted so I'm very happy.

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WOW ! Lookin' GOOD ! Lookin' REAL good. Having had the pleasure of meeting the car and you , I see exactly where you are going. Great call , and it will most likely age with your control , perfectly. I hope I get back to 'Vegas to pick up the '27 , and hook up with you again. I know you will show pics of the car in daylight.  - Carl

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Tomorrow morning at 5 am we go pick up our Buick and drive it home. The painter goes to his shop at 4:30 am because he paints early while its still cool, at 9 am it could easily be 100 degrees or more here in Vegas. We were in Los Angeles last week so we have never seen the car since all the tape was taken off. He painted another piece of metal for us to try different waxes on or buff or whatever to see how we like it before we actually experiment on the car. We are leaving on a motorcycle ride going to Oregon in a few days so I won't have time to do much with the Buick. When we get back I want to put a 5 blade fan on the water pump, we had the fan flat black powder coated so that it would not be noticeable. I will take some pictures of the car tomorrow with its new paint and post them. I will also take some pictures of the fan project with some comparisons of engine temps at idle to see if it changes anything. The comparisons will be of temperatures of the stock fan compared to the five blade fan at five, ten, fifteen and twenty minutes after the engine is first started from cold in the same outside air temperatures. It should be interesting if nothing else. 

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OK, here is the car, I drove it home from the body shop. It just looks like a clean old car, nothing special but its hard not to take a second look. I have a few more days before we ride our motorcycle to Oregon so while my wife figures out what we will take and gets our saddlebags packed I will change the fan on the Buick. After driving home and taking a few pictures I decided to test the fan at five minute intervals. It was 95 degrees in the garage and the radiator top hose neck was 110 degrees when I started. The following is the results of letting the car idle for the next 20 minutes, the car has a 160 thermostat at present. 

 

TIME:                 TEMPERATURE:

10:42                 110 degrees

10:47                 140 degrees       THE OUTSIDE AIR TEMP WAS 95 DEGREES

10:52                 162 degrees       DURING THE 20 MINUTES THE CAR IDLED

10:57                 180 degrees

11:02                 192 degrees

 

I will take some pictures of the stock fan and the new 5 blade fan that I'm going to replace it with and then make an identical test as the one above and see if there is any change. I might have it done today or at least by tomorrow. It looks like the temp raises 30 degrees every 10 minutes if its 95 degrees outside and it just sits and idles. Keep in mind that if the car moves at 22 mph even in 95 degree weather the temp will not go over 180 degrees. This is why I think a fan that would move more air at an idle than the stock one might help.

AT HOME 4.JPG

AT HOME 3.JPG

AT HOME 1.JPG

Edited by LAS VEGAS DAVE (see edit history)
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My fan project just came to a halt. After removing the stock fan I see that it is a 16 inch diameter fan, my new low gloss 5 blade flex fan is only 13 inch diameter. I don't believe it will be a better fan because its less diameter. I ordered a 15 1/4 inch diameter flex fan that has 5 blades. I would rather have a 5 blade 16 inch diameter flex fan but I can't find one. I have attached some pictures of the two fans here to show what I mean. When I get the new fan I will powder coat it low gloss black so that the average guy will not notice it.

fans 1.JPG

fans 2.JPG

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Dave,

What you need is a Hayden # 3716 flex fan from Summit (among others) @ $59.00. OR  $54.71 on Amazon w/ free shipping.

This is a 7 blade flex fan with the blades off set (not equally spaced). that is 18" in dia.

You may have to trim about 3/8"off the back edge of the blades to clear the generator pulley, but they still work fine.

Please do not buy a 6 blade, equally spaced fan, as THEY SING AT SPEED. Ask me how I know.

As for paint, a can of black gloss/ semi-gloss,  Krylon will do nicely.

 

Mike in Colorado

Edited by FLYER15015 (see edit history)
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Mike, my stock fan is only 15 7/8 inches. I think the 5 blade 15 1/4 inch one will work ok since it is only about 5/8 inch smaller in diameter than the stock one. I hope the blades don't hit the generator. If they just barely do I might be able to buy or make a thin fan spacer rather than try to trim the blades evenly . I have 1 3/4 inch from the water pump pulley to the radiator, I could run a 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch fan spacer which is more than trimming 3/8 inch for generator clearance and still have plenty of clearance to the radiator. Do you see anything wrong with this? 

Edited by LAS VEGAS DAVE (see edit history)
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Dave,

I have a Flex-a-lite 6 blade flex fan 16" in dia. on my '40LTD. I wish I  had known a 7 blade was available, as they are far less noisy on the road.

I spaced it out from the pulley 1/4" with a couple of  flat washers.

After trial fitting it, I still trimmed 3/8" off the back of the blades with tin snips to clear the generator pulley. Cut neatly and you won't have to balance it.

I painted mine w/ Krylon gloss black, which has held up very well for about 4 years now.

 

Mike in Colorado

100_2138.jpg

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I had a big scratch in the trunk of the new paint job, no idea how it got there but we fixed it this morning at the house. I tried the smaller flex fan I had to see how it would fit and I didn't like it. It gets to close to the radiator if it is to miss the generator. The larger diameter one will be no different. It can be done but it will be to hard to do unless the water pump is off or the radiator out. Its just not worth the effort unless the water pump needs replacement which probably won't happen for a long time since I replaced it last year. I had a hard enough time getting the stock fan back on and off without removing the water pump. If a spacer is used behind the flex fan the longer bolts required won't have enough space between the fan and radiator to get them started. Best to just run the stock fan and stay out of Las Vegas stop and go traffic if its over 90 degrees. 

PAINTING TRUNK AT HOUSE.JPG

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  • 1 month later...

Its not to hot anymore here in Las Vegas as its starting to be nice weather again. The bad news is that my new paint job just wasn't holding up. The flat clear coat looked alright to me but it made the paint CHALKY. If I rubbed it to hard or scratched it, it would leave an almost white line or scuff. It just wasn't what I wanted. We are going to paint it again next week. This time we are using single stage PPG paint with hardener. I had some different degrees of gloss sprayed on some test panels and I have chosen a low gloss Boctelli Blue that I think will give it the look I'm after and be very durable. Hopefully this time is the last time. I will post some pictures when its done. I have a lot of time and work in this old Buick but its getting closer to being done. The clock that I took apart and cleaned and got working has once again stopped so that project will be back on the bench again after the car is painted. The car is running like a top, the overdrive works flawlessly, and the brakes also work good. Its a fun car to drive and even to look at when ever its in the garage. We have a two and a half car garage but with three motorcycles and a little work area there is only room for one car. Although I've had many old hot rods and different cars over the years I think this old Buick is here to stay. I still want to take a long trip in it, maybe 2000 miles with my wife while we still can. Once I get it completely finished we will start thinking about that. I see a rare group of other guys that have done it and its on my bucket list.

Edited by LAS VEGAS DAVE (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, MCHinson said:

Dave,

I think I remember sharing my clock repair article with you in another discussion. If I did not, let me know and I will post it for you. 

 

Thanks, you did share it with me and I saved it. What I am finding is that the clocks seem to be easy enough to clean and get running but the electromagnet winding gizmo is more prone to failure than the clock. I clean the points and thats about all I can do. The one in the car worked for about 6 months and now has stopped. I will fix it as I have many parts and the clock face in the car is a real nice one.

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