Gary W

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

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Here's a better photo:


I'm getting a feeling that if I had an original 5-post Voltage Regulator  (NOT the 4-post replacement) that the wires would fit correctly?

Any Ideas on that?




The white wire is supposed to go over there.  But this is a later model 4-post voltage regulator.  Thats why you see the other wire coiled up.  It's not used.




So, either I can find a good 5-post VR (anyone...anyone?)  or I'll just solder an extension to the  white wire.


Thanks Guys!




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4 hours ago, Gary W said:

 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?


I can't answer that question specifically, but if one of the terminals is supposed to be ground, you might try putting a meter on each to see if either is grounded to the frame, block, etc.

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"Ground" on these isn't ground. It is a contact for the Autostart.


I couldn't find a good picture of a 5807 (original regulator) that you could read the terminals on. As I recall, the 4 terminal regulator is not just missing a terminal, it is completely redesigned and does not quite work the same way. It is very likely the terminals are in a different order.


Here are some things that might provide clues, even though they don't quite answer what you asked XVII Issue 5 (May-June 1999).pdf



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That's it!  The terminals are in different spots on the 5 terminal VR.

Thanks for the info!




I think the "F" wire would reach easily with this configuration.



Because the "F" and "GEN" are right next to each other.

Edited by Gary W (see edit history)

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Gary, I suspect that Dave Tacheny would be able to provide you with a 5 post voltage regulator. If he does not have one, send me a PM. I might have one on the shelf. I was going to use it on my car, but if you need it first, we could probably find a way for you to use mine and simply replace it whenever you can find one. I think you are going to need it a lot sooner than I am. The do also come up on Ebay from time to time.  

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Saturday September 23, 2017:  Progress Report:


I think I'm ready to install the instrument cluster tomorrow and wire it and run the gauge connections to it.  Here's what I got done tonight:



It all starts with this.  The three-prong connector that connects the trunk / taillight harness to the front harness.

It does not come with the kit.  I'm glad I didn't throw out my original wiring.  

Of course, I had to search through..............




...... THIS  to find the connector, but I got it.  

Now, the issue is the wires were all cracked about an inch after this 3-prong connector and

The new harness uses a White wire, and 2 yellow wires with different tracer markings.  Mine had 3 yellow wires so I had to open it up to be sure everything was correctly labeled.




Carefully open up the four tabs that hold the cover to the bottom




Once open, use the electrical blueprint in the kit to label the wires.  I wanted to be sure the wires weren't twisted in there, and that the correct wire goes to the correct pin.




I spread the wires out a bit, cut off the dry rotted parts, but kept the soldered end that goes into the pins.  

I also labeled the actual wires  ( a "w" for white, y/b for yellow with black tracer....) So I knew exactly how to solder the new harness to the connector.




I used a socket to hold the cover secure and gently pressed the pins so I could bend the tabs back into position to secure the lid.




Back under the dash.  I like to feather the wires into each other, little flux and solder them nice and tight.




Once soldered, I slid the rubber insulation over each wire




To try to make my new joint look authentic, I wrapped the insulating rubber with this wax-impregnated cloth wire wrap.




Snap the two back together again and the front and rear harnesses are connected.




Next I hooked up the cowl gutter drain.  My car did not have one installed, thus the water damage.




Here's where the drain hose exits the firewall.  I'm going to get a couple of nice clamps to hold it steady to the firewall and route it down under the engine.




Then the rear window gutter drains pipes that start up here and seem to drain on to the running boards.




And finally, installed the heater.



Have a good one!








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Your feathering method is fine if there isn't any mechanical stress on the splice. If there will likely be, I use the always dependable Western Union splice, which can be seen here.


As a side note, last year my then-11-year-old assistant Ben had to take a "tech" course in 6th grade and as part of that he was taught by his teacher how to splice and solder wires. Well, I had already taught him how to do that the previous year using the WU splice which his teacher never heard of! And his teacher's soldering technique was awful and resulted in cold joints. Basically Ben taught the class how to splice and solder!


Cheers, Dave

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A bit late now, but there is no reason to splice here, western union or otherwise. The wires are soldered in those pins. You can just heat them and pull the wires out. The pins can be cleaned out with heat and a solder sucker, or just heated and tapped on a table while hot. Strip the new wire a little less than the length of a pin. Shove the new wire in, heat the pin with the iron, feed solder in the hole in the tip of the pin.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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You know, I kinda figured I could heat and remove the wires.

 But then I also thought if I heated the three pins and the solder didn't all come out I'd have a problem.  ( I don't have a solder sucker)

Or if the 80-year old base got too hot and warped or broke...  I didn't want to chance it.

Plus, all this has to be accomplished under the dash with wires hanging down that are cut with literally no waste, so there is no room for error.


So, with my skillset, I figured splicing would be my best route.


Thanks for the heads up.  I appreciate that the next guy reading this will have a little more knowledge for his project.  

Edited by Gary W (see edit history)
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For future reference, there is also solder wick, which is an inexpensive option. It looks a bit like a miniature copper ground strap. 


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Gary,  You are doing an awesome job. Everything looks perfect.

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Dave,  That is the wire splicing technique that i use, but had no idea it had a name. Thanks or the info.  Jim

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Dave, right after I got out of the Navy I hired on to the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company.  I was there until the big government breakup.  One of the jobs that I did was a cable splicer's helper.  We worked with a lot of different types of insulated wires cable, but, I never hear of a Western Union splice.  I worked with a splicer who had 25 years in in the early 1970's.  This just goes to prove that you live and learn and die and forget it all.


Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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Also known as a lineman's splice (I got there after following the link). That's a more generic name. As far as I know we didn't have Western Union north of the border, so that name would be somewhat foreign up here (until more recently with money transfer anyway). 


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15 hours ago, Thriller said:

Also known as a lineman's splice (I got there after following the link). That's a more generic name. As far as I know we didn't have Western Union north of the border, so that name would be somewhat foreign up here (until more recently with money transfer anyway). 



It was probably under The Canada Bell System activity.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017:  Progress Report


Yesterday I stopped in the paint shop to learn that the front clip and headlamps will be completely done and ready for pick up on Wednesday.  (Tomorrow!)  This news was great, but set off a bunch of alarm bells for me in that I have a LOT  of nuts and bolts, clamps, .....  to wire wheel, clean, prime and paint before tomorrow!  It took me about 2 hours to get all the front clip and headlight hardware cleaned and ready for paint.  Then that air deflector down at the bottom and the center chrome strip that needs to be polished and the inside cleaned up.  I bought 12 new #8-32 nuts to mount the center molding to the clip.  

Here's a few updates:


1. Paint Shop:



Monday morning sanding out the prime coat, using the black "guide coat" to find any imperfections




Sanded side and the guide coat still on the driver's side of the front clip.




Here it is this morning, painted and cleared ready for wet sanding and buffing.




You can see the headlamp buckets in the background.



2. My Stuff:




I worked over an hour degreasing and cleaning the speedometer cable inside and out.




Painted the shaft SEM "Trim Black", then put the ends lightly on the wire wheel to clean them shiny.




Yesterday I spent well over two hours turning all the front clip and headlamp fasteners from rusty mess to clean.  I'll be painting tonight.





Here is everything laid out waiting for paint.




Then a scotch brite pad to remove the rust under the front stainless trim.  Very careful here not to scratch the "show" side.  The rust came right off easily.




The car obviously was painted with the trim strip attached, as the grey paint was all down the side.  I was able to use paint thinner and acetone to wipe it off.

Tonight I'm going to use jeweler's rouge to polish the show side, followed by a hand polishing with Wicked metal polish.

Then I'll reattach the Buick emblem and It will be the first piece to go onto the front clip tomorrow!


Have a great day!




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1 hour ago, Gary W said:

The car obviously was painted with the trim strip attached, as the grey paint was all down the side.  I was able to use paint thinner and acetone to wipe it off.Tonight I'm going to use jeweler's rouge to polish the show side, followed by a hand polishing with Wicked metal polish.


Since you've already got a grinder running your wire wheel, you might consider buying a couple of buffing wheels and the appropriate compound.  Replace the wire wheel with the buffing wheel and you'll knock that trim out in no time with a fraction of the effort.

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Wednesday September 27, 2017:    Installation of the Front Clip and related hardware


I stopped by the paint shop around 8:00 am, and the front clip was finished and ready to be picked up.  So I went home and assembled the crane (engine crane, cherry picker...) so I had a place to hang it while doing pre-assemblies.  Drove back to the shop, got the clip in the truck and hung it in the garage.  Had a few "honey-do" errands to accomplish but then John came over at 11:00 and we worked until 1:30 getting everything built and installed onto the frame.    Here goes:




8:00 am.  Front clip is all buffed and hand rubbed out, ready to go.  It was hanging by two wires through the top holes.




I ran home and pushed the car back a few feet, assembled the crane and started laying out parts and fasteners.




My chassis had these three "spacers" under the front clip, so I cleaned them all up and replaced them.  I don't know it they are factory, but.....




Arriving home.  Here you can see how nice that lower section came out where he dollied it smooth.




I ran a wire between the radiator support rod holes and hung it on the crane.




Then, for safety, I also hooked a bungee cord nice and tight in case the wire broke while I was out running errands.




While waiting for John, I buffed up the stainless molding strip with this very soft cotton wheel on a LOW speed.  Much more control.




I bought these in 1985.  I still do things the same way, Tripoli first, followed by Rouge and then a hand polish with Wicked Metal Polish.




At 11:00 John came over, and immediately we started installing the front trim piece with all new stainless steel washers and nuts.  (Everything is 8-32)

Stressful aligning everything without hitting the paint!




Finishing the install of the hood ornament, the front emblem and the stainless molding.




Then we installed the grilles.  

First step was to install the "Buick 8" emblem by flaring the posts on the back end.

Then aligning and installing the grill screws.  11 of the 12 holes lined up perfect.  One was off, we needed a punch to line up the metal.  I guess thats why there were only about eight screws in the car when I removed these parts.

I used all stainless steel fasteners here.  The book says these grilles are adjustable up and down.  There is NO WAY these are moving anywhere.  The holes are perfectly round, not slotted for adjustment.





Once satisfied that the grille halves are in nice and tight,  we next we installed the radiator into the frame.

Then installed that lower wind deflector with two bolts and a single screw at the bottom.





By spinning the clip and pushing the crane close, the front clip dropped right into position.

I only hand tightened the huge nut at the bottom for now. 

We installed the radiator support rods to keep her steady.




I've been waiting 9 months to see that again!!!




Finished the day by installing the fender brackets.




And another piece of the puzzle done, and my parts bins are slowly disappearing!



Getting my headlamps today.



Have a great day!









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Fantastic!  What a banner day to have that front clip back in place with the beautiful grill and emblems!

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It is will be a great day for Gary when the re-build is finished but a sad for me as it will be like my favourite TV series has finished.


Good work Gary


Edited by Paul White (see edit history)
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A question: Since you said you did have the radiator re-cored, did you also clean the inside of the radiator hoses before you hooked everything up?


Even new rubber hoses usually have some dust, dirt, oils or what have you inside them, and it would be a shame to spread that throughout the flushed or new cooling system.

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Monday October 2, 2017:  Let's build a couple of headlights!



Spent "Parents Weekend" in Boston with my two college-age kids, so no work on the Buick for a few days.  Tonight I finished the headlamp build.  Here is a Step - By - Step of how I did it:






From the Buick Service Manual.  Just so you know how everything is supposed to go together.




My notes:  I like things step - by - step so I don't solder something then have to re-do my work.   




Reflectors treated with UVIRA coating.

Courtesy of Dave Arthur  ("Las Vegas Dave") who handled all the shipping and did all the legwork getting the coating applied.  

Appreciate the help!

***  The instructions that come with the UVIRA coated reflectors state that you need to run a ground wire DIRECTLY SOLDERED to the socket ***

So here's what I did:




This came out of my car.  It is (was) the under dash slide switch that illuminates the dash or map reader lamp.  It's useless.




So I broke it up into three pieces.  Then unsoldered the brass "pin" from underneath and ground off the pointed end that "tips up"




Here is one contact:  separated, unsoldered and cleaned up.  This is what I soldered to the socket so I had a place to actually attach the ground, instead of soldering a wire directly to the socket.




So this is what my lamp sockets look like now.  The sockets have that bar across the top.  I soldered these in the bottom position.



OK.....  Start to build:



Run your socket wires through the back of the sub-body.  I cleaned and painted all the internals prior.




Here's the order once the wires come through the sub body.  Sub-body...Socket...Springs...Insulator...Solder contacts.




Once the wires were through the maze, I put a small piece of solder under the head of the wire contact, and by simply touching the solder iron, the solder melted and the joint was made.




Here's the wired socket now.




Next, attach the socket to the back of the reflectors.  The two "cat ears" go to the top.




Now I connected the ground wire to the bracket, and run the wire through the same grommet in the back of the sub body where the others enter.




Install the reflector into the sub body by first engaging the lower clip.




Then, push the reflector in against the springs, and slide the retainer clips into position. 

Release and the spring pressure will hold everything nice.


At this point, your reflectors are safely positioned into the sub body. Time to run the wires.




While you can still see into the headlamp shell, screw in the adjustment screw for sideways adjustment.  I didn't tighten the jam nut yet.




Then run the wires and terminal block down the out the opening.  

All my connectors faced down, so I replaced them in the same fashion.





Line up and snap the sub body into the headlight shell.  Set your new foam seal around the edges and install the bulb.

While you set your lens into the chrome trim ring, and snap the trim ring into position and tighten it down with the lower screw,.......




Let your 13-year old learn the "paint and wipe" technique on the side moldings!




Nice and clean!




Allow them to dry a bit, while you....




Install the headlamp onto the car.  Here you can see the adjusting screw, the three terminals and the ground wire poking out.




All of a sudden it's really starting to look cool!  (I was still waiting for the paint to dry here!)




Moldings are in position




and another project off the list!



Have a great night.

Dave, I hope you and yours are OK out there in Vegas...Thanks for your help and advice.  The reflectors really look amazing!










Edited by Gary W (see edit history)
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