Gary W

1937 Buick Model 48: RESTORATION HAS BEGUN! (Photo)

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I love your "crew lube' donuts 'n' coffee. I hope once the sun was over the yardarm you broke out the brewskis! They're good for after the task post-mortems!


Cheers, Dave

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12 hours ago, Gary W said:

(Hope there's not too many, but I do have a series that is a step - by - step process)

Definitely not too many pictures, I continue to enjoy watching your work.

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Gary, as someone who recently acquired their first '37 Buick century coupe, albeit completely blown apart, this thread is priceless and after years of lurking on these forums, has compelled me to join!  The thoroughness,  attention to detail, and willingness to share your work and detail the processes, have helped me in more ways than I can count, while going through and inventorying what i am missing, what goes where, etc.


Very happy to see the body meeting the chassis once again, its all looking quite beautiful! thanks again for your hard work both on the car, as well as sharing your projects, its very appreciated!

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Monday Morning September 18, 2017:  Video of us Mounting the Body to the Chassis



It only took us just under 6 minutes to mount the body to the frame once we had the frame fairly lined up to the body.


For anyone interested:     


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Looking good Gary !

Now just remember to turn all the nuts and bolts to the right, and you will be done in no time.


Mike in Colorado

Edited by FLYER15015 (see edit history)

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Tuesday September 19, 2017:   Starting the "Build Phase" and some paint shop updates:


Body Bolts:



We got all 12 Body Bolts installed.  "Finger tight, then two turns".  Tightened the front two studs the same degree to allow the body to seat.

So now all 14 body mounting points are settled.

I actually had to lift the rear a little to get the #6 bolts to go through the rubber mount.  When the body dropped the mount slid a little down the frame rail.

( A 2X4 fits perfectly between the gas tank and the rear of the body to get a little lift)




I was able to restore and reuse all but two of the original body bolts.




Firewall Insulator:




I got a new firewall insulator.  My original was disgusting.  But, as I was marking out for areas that needed a little trim, I noticed that the new one isn't NEARLY as thick as the original.

So, although I worked restoring the original large-headed attachment screws, ( even painting the head brown and the threads black!) I don't think I can re-use them.  

They stick out way too far into the engine compartment.




Here, I'm opening up some of the holes that were not aligned.  Then you have to clean up some of the batting that will show through the firewall.




End view of the original.  It has a "particle board-like" material and a layer of batting behind the leather firewall cover.

All - in - all it's about 1 1/2" thick.  the new replacement is only about 3/8" so I'm going to look for different fasteners.



Cowl Vent Rubber Seal:



New seal from Steele.  Fit nicely, needed a little trim on the passenger's side so it would fit without binding.




After a couple of dry fits, I protected the paint, applied the 3M adhesive into the groove, sat the cowl vent seal,  and tucked it in nicely.




To have it set up nice and level, I placed the cowl vent cover on top of the rubber seal, and checked all my gaps for uniformity.




Satisfied that the cover was centered and level all around......




I covered the vent with a towel and put a little weight on it to keep it nice until the adhesive tacks up.








Body Work on the Front Clip:



I dropped the front clip and a few other assorted parts for painting on Sunday when we dropped the body.

I don't know if you can make it out in the photo, but the lower section of the front nose was dented and dinged.




Today I stopped by the shop, and watched Bob as he used these tools to.....




Hammer and dolly all the dings and dents out.




Taking his time, he was able to reshape the metal right in front of my eyes.  It was so cool watching him rework the metal back into shape.




Next he used this body file.  By tightening or loosening the top, you can arch the cutting edge.




Next came a little light grinding to begin to smooth out the marks left by the file.




It just amazes me how he re-created the original shape with no filler at all!

I love going down to the shop to watch the "old school" techniques being applied.  





One more:  Unrelated but I thought this before and after was really cool:


B E F O R E      A N D       A F T E R :





Have a wonderful day!




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 Before you permanently install the firewall insulator get the new foil faced insulation material for behind it. These straight eights do put out a lot of heat! It was on my to do list. After 3 over 1,500 mile trips in 90-100+ degree heat it would have really helped.

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The pad holding screws Bobs Automobilia has are threaded all the way and will work. A touch pticy.


I had thought of seperating the padding from the original but didnt.  I also killed the gloss of the new insulator with fine steel wool. I felt the new one was too shiny.

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Wednesday September 20, 2017:  Progress Report



Started getting a couple of things installed while I'm waiting for my Dynamat to arrive so I can secure the firewall cover and begin wiring.  Here's a quick rundown of tonights projects:




Cowl vent mechanism all installed and functioning nice and easy.  The Trim Black looks great against the gloss black.




Installed the emergency brake.




I like the Savoy Brown color.




NOS Voltage regulator from Dave Tachney.




Installed the Voltage Regulator and the Horn Relay.




The High Beam Switch




The Throttle linkage




The door striker plates.





Comparison photos:








Accelerator Linkage




Emergency Brake



Have a good evening!






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Thursday Morning, September 21, 2017:  Paint Progress


Stopped in to see how the front clip are coming along.  The clip and headlamps are in yellow "self-etching" prime and going into build up primer today for Monday paint.  Bob did find that the radiator support has a slight bend in it.  So tomorrow I'm going to stop by with the radiator and the chrome strip to double check the fitment.  He is going to use his "porta-power" to straighten out the upright once we double check the radiator.    




The next batch of parts are hanging in the shop in yellow "self-etching" prime.




Here's how the lower repair came out.  Nice and smooth now that's it sanded and primed.




Headlamps are also sanded out and primed.




This will be the next batch I take delivery of.  Then I can wire through and hopefully make some progress.




See the bend on the left upright, just above the horizontal support brace?

 It obviously was in the car like this and everything aligned fine,  but being I had the radiator re-cored I'm going to bring it down to the shop to double check the fit.

 Even if we use the porta - power to move it out just a little.  I'm not looking to upset the  radiator fit or the fender fit.

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Thursday September 21, 2017: Begin Wiring


Tonight I began running wires.  I figured since the firewall insulator is not installed yet, I'll get going on the dome light and the trunk wire kit.  




Here's the dome light, Body and Tail lights harness kit.




I started with the Dome Light.  Took my time to run the wires down the pillar




The wires all have nice tags on them to guide the installation




Once the dome light was wired, I ran a new ground to the side frame.  Then I pushed a 9V battery to the instrument cluster mounting stud, got the "forked" end to stick in the other side of the battery.




When I touched the two wires together.....




Bingo!!!  The lamp lit and the first electrical connection is confirmed.  (I'll drop the dome lamp to install the headliner, but just had to check it out!)

I guess the car has a good ground if that little 9V battery did the trick.



Trunk Harness:



I actually started in the middle.  Ran the 3-prong female plug forward, down the pillar and fit it into the ring and bent about 6 tabs over to hold it.




The trunk end ran over the rear window, through an opening on the left side of the trunk.




Perfectly cut, it fit into all the clips and ran neatly down the inside lip of the trunk.




The fuel sending unit wire coming through the rear floor of the trunk.

(Is there supposed to be a grommet here?  Is this the correct location for that wire to come through?)




The tail lamp wires exit through grommets to the outside.

All - in - all  a very nicely made harness, and an easy install.



Thanks for following along and have a great day!


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I'm by no means an expert but would put a grommet on the sending unit wire to prevent any chafing and potential problems down the road.

If not concours correct the grommet can be removed for show!!

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There is a grommet on the fuel wire. Not only does it protect the wire, it keeps crud from getting into the trunk.

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Gary : Good to see the wiring going in. Since my headliner was still very nice and original, Penn Dutch took the new wiring harness rear body loom along the sill to avoid tearing out the headliner. I still would like to have my dome light working at some time.

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Friday September 22, 2017:  Paint update,  Firewall Pad  and   Engine / Dash wiring harness


I stopped by the paint shop briefly after work to check on things.  Bob used the Porta-Power to straighten that indentation on the radiator support upright.  I bought my trim strip and the radiator to the shop with me to double check fitment before final paint.  All Good!

When I got home, I measured and installed a 1/2" thick Dyna Pad onto the firewall, then fit and installed the new brown "leather-ish" firewall pad over that.  I was able to use my original fasteners and I'm sure it will stop some of the heat and noise.  

Once the firewall install was settled (NOT an easy job by yourself!), I decided to at least open the engine wire harness to start getting a layout of where things go.  Then I figured "let me just push the bulk through the firewall grommet"......and then, may as well wire the solenoid side, looks easy.

Well, by 9:45, the engine stuff was sorted and installed and it is a nice kit.  


***   Couple things  ****    1.  On the solenoid, the wiring diagram shows one yellow wire to the "starter" and one to the "ground" terminals.  Which is which?  Or does it matter as long as the wire to the vacuum start switch is consistent?

                                              2.  There is a white wire that attaches to the "F" generator post and the "F" Voltage regulator post.  It is much too short at the VR end, necessitating the harness to run between the VR and the Horn Relay.  I don't like it there, and it may interfere with mounting the horns. I was thinking maybe mounting the  VR upside down?  I may have to cut the white wire and elongate it.  I just don't like the way it looks between the two.



Paint Shop Update:



Bob used the Porta-Power to straighten the indentation.




He used this angle because there is more metal at the corner and it reduces the risk of the other side bending out.  



He then measured it and made sure it was all square.  It's spot on.  I bought my radiator to the shop and the holes line up perfectly.  




Then I bought my stainless trim piece just to check, and everything looks really nice.







This firewall pad has the jute and the foil built into it.  It's just too thin to re-use my original fasteners.  

So I ordered this "Dynaliner" which is 1/2" thick,  I was able to fabricate two layers, which gave me the extra inch I needed to replicate the original.





After measuring, cutting and marking the holes,  the self-adhesive padding is pretty easy to install.



Roll it into the crevices nice and tight.  I then covered this with another layer, and it stuck right to it no problem.




This is how I found the holes.  I stuck an awl through the holes, wiggled it around a little and followed up with the retaining screws.

Being I was working alone, I couldn't get the last two bottoms in yet.  But all the edges you can reach in while the windshield is out of the car.




Holding the large screwdriver inside and the 7/16" wrench outside, it all comes along.




Installed (except the one by the accelerator pedal) But now I can start the wiring.








Here is the kit.  All I wanted to do is lay it out and get my head around the various parts and sections.




I laid it out and figured what is inside the car v. what is engine side of the firewall.




Now, getting all this through that small hole!  Challenge #1.  

I did have to un-solder the "Bright Lights" bullet off the end of that socket.  There was no way that thing was going through that hole.

I re-soldered the bullet end back on once it made it into the cabin.




So I ran the horn wire section over the top of the firewall, and hooked up the coil and the solenoid.  I just don't know what solenoid connection is considered "ground" or "starter"




Then to the Voltage regulator, the horn relay, high beam switch, brake light switch and the generator.




After about 45 minutes, that leg of the harness was hooked up.

Problem:  The white wire is SO short that I had to run the harness between the VR and the HR.  I don't like the look, so I may cut and elongate the white wire.

I hate to have to cut a brand new harness, but there simply is not the length to run it to the outside.




Close up of the VR and HR.




And here is the inside with the socket back on to its wire and ready for the instrument cluster and the light switch.




B E F O R E  A N D  A F T E R :



Being this was all I had to go on regarding the proper wire routing, It looks better.  But I may have trouble mounting the horn?



Have a great weekend!







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It looks like the original wire bundle passed to the right (photo perspective) of the voltage regulator.  Did the wire clips give you any hints for wire placement?


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What if you took the wires from the horn relay and ran them to the right, rather than the left and feed that group of wires up between the horn relay and the voltage regulator? Would that give you enough wire to run the main harness bundle to the right of the voltage regulator?

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Actually, I might have another idea...


Would the wires on the new harness fit running them like this photo?


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Its that white wire.  The one that attaches to the top left VR post.  It barely reaches right now.  I think I'll elongate it today and be done with it.  then I can bring the harness where it belongs.

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I can't tell its length from your photo, but it looks like it might reach if that white wire were to go straight to the right so that where that white wire emerges from the harness was at the top right corner of the voltage regulator. That is how it is in my photo but it is sort of hidden behind the horn.

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