Jump to content

1931 Buick 8-91 Restoration help please.


Recommended Posts

Hello fellow car enthusiasts.


My name is Mike Staley and I live in Houston, Texas. I own a European automotive garage and have been

a car guy as long as I can remember thanks to my loving Dad who just turned 74 in May.


My father, a retired Chemical Process Engineer was also bitten by the car bug at an early age and has had some

fantastic cars in his years and together we have acquired a rather diverse collection of cars from classic to muscle cars.


We bought the 31 Buick in 2008 from a neighbor, friend, and fellow car enthusiast who unfortunately passed away last year from brain cancer.


Here is the unfortunate part of this story..  My Dad was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiform brain cancer in April of this year.

Two fantastic car guys with brain cancer what are the odds right.

My life has been a whirlwind since April.


We have been working on cars together since I was young.. but have been able to really spend quality time together restoring them at his house or my shop for the last 5 years or so.  It's amazing how he liked working in my air conditioned shop over his! haha


About 4 years ago he decided to fix the windshield lift mechanism on the Buick, took the car apart, ran into some stumbling blocks then just moved

on to other projects and the car has been sitting since.


I have been tasked with completing some of the loose ends on the car collection (well nobody has asked me to do it.. I think it's just therapy so I choose to do it)

My dad is not unfortunately really weak, using a walker and unable to go out to his shop anymore. He has managed somehow to keep a positive spirit which is amazing.


This beautiful Series 90 is probably one of my favorites of our cars.


In the last several weeks, I have brought the engine back to life with a carburetor rebuild and fuel pump overhaul only to find the fuel sending unit line was

cracked and sucking air... When I removed the fuel tank the sending unit is garbage.


I have taken lots of photos which are in a Google album for you experts to look at and pick apart.



* I need anyone with advice or photos with regard to the windshield seal, installation and operation

* Need windshield wiper parts (how is the vacuum line run) Suggestions where I can buy missing pieces?

* Fuel sending unit?  I found this place http://www.mykmlifestyle.com/  and will call them tomorrow.

* I have a exhaust valve and crossover pipes.. need linkages from the dash out to the valve.

I am not going to install the exhaust valve for now.. just would like the parts.

* I have several holes on the firewall anybody know whats missing? The drv side has a large hole.

* missing firewall oil can and bracket

* Does the 31 have engine mounts or is it solid mounted.. I think someone has installed some rubber bushings up front which has caused the crank not

to align with the hole in the radiator. I am guessing this engine is supposed to be solid mounted.

* Linkage from the bottom of the steering rack is missing.. is this a throttle or something?

* The thermostat on the top of the radiator has some sort of missing linkage.

* I have the new correct oil filter from Bob's Automobilia.


This is my starter list. If anyone could provide information or PHOTOS!! I would greatly appreciate your time and expertise.


Google photo Album:



Thanks in Advance!!!!

Mike Staley




Edited by Staley (see edit history)
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites



Sorry to to hear about your dad. 

I am just finishing up my 31 90 series so I can answer some of your questions.


The windshield seals are available from Steele Rubber Products. Your lift mechanism looks in good shape assuming the gears are not shot.

The vacuum line goes from the top of the intake (center plugged hole on yours) through the firewall, under the dash up the post to your motor.

I will post pics of the exhaust valve linkage and the hand throttle linkage when I get to my computer. The hand throttle linkage goes from that little arm at the end of the steering shaft to the linkage assembly above the carburetor.

You are missing  a cover for your light switch at the end of the steering box. I'll post a pic of that as well.

Engine is solid mount.

The missing linkage at your radiator is an arm that goes from the shutterstat bellows to the shutter. You can make one if need be. Mine is back together so I cannot give you exact dimensions.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Chuck! 

Thank you so much for the input.

I would love to see the photos.

I think that we may have the molding for the window.. but the glass was thinner than the original so my Dad glued some aluminum track on the ends which ultimately made the glass too wide.. so I am going to have to take it off and try something else.


I thought the engine was solid mount. Thanks for confirming my suspicion. I would love to see any under hood photos you have including the firewall.


I would also love to see the shutter stat arm photo if possible.


Thanks again!

Mike Staley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A concern about the windshield - I recall, the safety glass I installed was a bit thicker, but as thin as the supplier had available, then the original plate glass, but we were able to get it in and moving in the lift.  If yours  is thinner, perhaps it is not safety glass, so I would double check.  But maybe my '32 is different, but I doubt it.  I do not think you want to install non-safety glass.  As it is out of the car, should ne easy enough to verify.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good Morning.

Well the gas tank is at the shop for it's second "renu" procedure. For some reason the side plug they sealed when cleaning it leaked.

I am working on the windshield now to get it all back together and functional. 

I am still in need of wiper components. The search continues. 

Thanks everyone for the input. I will keep you posted!


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Good Morning guys.


I have the fuel tank back in the car with the new sending unit. The replacement one was short and didn't have the 90deg bend in the end of it.

I am in the process of running the fuel sending unit line and from what I can tell it just follows the main line up the frame.

The question is.. where does the capillary line come up under the hood and what grommet does it pass through.


Second question of the day. I need to run a vacuum line inside the car to supply vacuum to the wiper motor that I don't have.

Anyone have pictures of what the correct motor looks like and maybe a photo of how your vacuum line runs inside?





I picked up the cutlass from the shop last week and delivered it to my parents! My Dad loved the ride and the car :)14469552_10154290683213387_5491722935055934185_n.jpg14516534_10154290683383387_332424142074042064_n.jpg14449044_10154298161563387_8708786333970482627_n.jpg14449964_10154298161623387_6953927224982911865_n.jpg


Edited by Staley (see edit history)
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...