Gary W

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

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I think what I would do next is....

 

Disconnect all wires from the headlight switch except the 1) power in to the circuit breaker, and 2) terminal #11

 

Turn on the light switch all the way (position 4).

 

Check for power on the input terminal of the dimmer switch, at the other end of the wire that hooks to terminal 11. 

You should have power also on one of the output wires. These 2 output wires should be 16b and 16gc. Check that they really are. When you click the switch, verify that it switches power to the other output wire. They should never both be live. The indicator in the dash should also work. Do whatever is necessary to get this much working.

 

Find the other end of the 2 output wires (16b and 16gc if they match the diagram). They should appear at the passenger headlight. Make sure one is live and that they switch at that end, too. One headlight should work, and beam up and down.

 

If they appear at the driver's headlight, I think they have mis-made your harness.

 

 

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 I don't know if the 1937 and 1938 lighting switch is different, but they do have different part numbers. The 1937 switch part number is; 480W and the 1938 switch is; 1994501.

 

Carl

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On my stock 38 if you dim position 3 both lights dim. If you select hi beams both go to high beam. Position 3 works like every other car I ever had.

 

 

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On 11/20/2017 at 9:27 PM, dibarlaw said:

 

Gary :

I did the same re-work on the switch including complete disassembly and cleaning all contacts and building up the burned micarda insulation material.

 

 

dibarlaw: What year is that switch?

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Bloo:

 The switch is out of my 1937-41. I did install a new wiring harness from Road Island Wiring.

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Wednesday November 22, 2017:  Update at the paint shop, restoration of the dash light / map light switch:

 

Quick review of the week so far at the paint shop:

 

 

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Bob hammer - and - dollied the wheel openings to get rid of any blemishes and dings around there.

The rear fenders are completely covered with a "bondo" - type filler material.  Every inch is covered.

This is the stuff that cracked ("alligatored") and came right up through the paint.

 

 

 

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He ground off all the plastic and bought the fender down to bare metal because he found a little rust under some of the plastic. So to be safe it all came off.

 

 

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Bob told me he sees this a lot.  Perfectly good metal fenders covered with plastic where it really isn't needed.

 

 

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The metal is in really good shape, and required a little filler in a few selected spots to get rid of some small surface imperfections.

 

 

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Sprayed in yellow self-etching primer.  You can see here how little filler was used, and it is quite thin in spots.

Then actual metal is in really good shape so there is no need for all that excess filler.

 

 

 

 

Dash Lamp / Map Reader switch:

 

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This is what came out of the car.  This wouldn't sit in the switch housing because the base material swelled up and dry-rotted and cracked.

It was useless.  (Although I did re-purpose the lugs as headlamp grounds)

 

 

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I purchased another one from Dave.  It is in much better shape.

 

 

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I opened it up to expose it's guts.

Then took all the metal parts to the wire wheel and used a fine paper to clean the contacts.

 

 

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Here it is all cleaned up and ready to be re-assembled.

 

 

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Toggle, spring, brass contact go in first.

 

 

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Then seat the base into the grooves / pins and turn them down nice and tight.

 

 

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Insert screws and its ready to be wired and installed.

 

 

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The clock also gets wired here as well so there are actually eight wires to this little switch.

The one hanging loose grounds the clock by sliding it between the switch base and the dash before tightening up the mounting screws.

 

 

 

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Opening the glovebox door.  Not fully opened yet, the lamp is not illuminated.

 

 

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When its fully opened, the glovebox lamp lights up just as it should.  I just love this 1937 engineering!  Great stuff!

 

 

Have a great night out there

 

Gary

 

 

 

 

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Gary,

 

I think that the problem with position 4 on your headlights is probably an internal issue in your headlight switch. If I were you, I would ignore it for now. I would send the "Rebuilt" headlight switch back to have the rebuilder correct whatever error makes the off position not work properly. When it comes back, I would test it with a volt ohm meter. After confirming proper operation, I would remove the original switch and reinstall the rebuilt one. I think that will fix your Country light mode issue. 

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7 minutes ago, MCHinson said:

Gary,

 

I think that the problem with position 4 on your headlights is probably an internal issue in your headlight switch.

 

Matt, Bloo, Dave......  I agree!  

I traced all the wiring, all the color codes are correct and run to the passengers side.  Why that driver's headlight goes out MUST be an internal issue with the switch.

I'll leave it for now, but it will eventually have to be right......  it'll bug me until it's correct.

Thanks again!

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Thursday November 23, 2017:    H A P P Y   T H A N K S G I V I N G   !!

 

 

From my Family to You and Yours

 

Best wishes for a Blessed Thanksgiving!

 

 

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Enjoy the day

Gary

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13 hours ago, dibarlaw said:

Bloo:

 The switch is out of my 1937-41. I did install a new wiring harness from Road Island Wiring.

Are you happy with the harness? I certainly need one.

Dave

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The people at YNZ were really nice and sent me the schematic even though I did not buy the loom from them. Its a beautiful loom with the old looking wires and is clearly numbered at the connectors. I have had zero electrical problems so I am happy with it.

 

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I am happy with my R.I Harness.  It fit perfectly and looks authentic.  All the wires are properly color-coded to the Buick book.  You just have to build a couple of sockets and that three-pronged unit that connects front harness to trunk harness.  BUT, in fairness, I didn't know enough to send them my 3-prong socket, so maybe they would have built it with the original parts.  (The only problem is that it won't fit through the firewall grommet holes, unless you enlarge them as well.)  

Overall, a quality product.

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Gary, "toggle switch".. Just what all is controlled by this switch? Other than map light..  Tom

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Instrument cluster lights and Clock face when you slide it to the left.  (4 light bulbs... 3 in the cluster, one in the clock)

Map light when slid to the right.

Center off

 

The middle post is power that comes in live from the #10 post of the headlight switch.  The clock motor connects there also.

(the #10 post is live always, being directly connected via an internal "bar" to the thermo circuit unit)

 

Edited by Gary W (see edit history)
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I have a RI harness too ans it was great.

 

What bugs me is that U have 2 '38's and neither car has the guts for the glovebox light so they dnt work. I'd love to have them working.

 

A change I made was to connect the dash / maplight feed to the taillight circuit. That way those lights will only come on with the headlights and taillights. The way it is wired  originally, they can easily be left on since they have to be turned on and off separately from other lights.

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1 hour ago, DonMicheletti said:

I have a RI harness too ans it was great.

 

What bugs me is that U have 2 '38's and neither car has the guts for the glovebox light so they dnt work. I'd love to have them working.

 

A change I made was to connect the dash / maplight feed to the taillight circuit. That way those lights will only come on with the headlights and taillights. The way it is wired  originally, they can easily be left on since they have to be turned on and off separately from other lights.

The light is on the clock and filled with tiny ball bearings, when the glovebox door opens the bearings roll back in the bulb housing and complete the circuit and the light comes on. Do you have a clock? Do you have the bulb and socket? I don't know how it works if there is no clock.

 

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Dave :

 The RI harness was very nice. I had a local shop install it while they were doing some work to get my 37 into driver condition.

 On my to do list for them was a wiring harness and they suggested RI. Also on the list was to remove the added 1950s turn signal lights and get the harness with the extra wires to provide for turn signals incorporated into the parking lights and brake/tail lights.

 They had promised to have the car ready to drive to the 2012 Buick Nationals in NC. After the first few monthly visits to their shop we saw that nothing was getting done and the owner said that they would not be able to get the car ready for the Nationals. He then said that it was a good Idea to get a new wiring harness. I reminded him that this was on my original list. The statement was that no way could they get the car done on time since RI would need at least a months lead time to make up the harness. I called RI and they said that they had the harness in stock. 2 months after the NC meet (that I was supposed to be able to drive to) they were still about 1/2 done.  They had the harness installed, BUT, they put the wrong one in without the extra wiring for the turn signals. (they did take care of it by installing extra outside wiring and loom at an extra $300+). So, after a lot of runaround, things not done on the list, double cost estimates etc. I had to get the car back and end this relationship. When we got the car back I drove it a total of 2 miles when it quit at the busiest intersection at rush hour. I had to push it to the side of the road and tow it home. What I found was that even though they had installed a new harness they did not clean any connections and there were several incorrectly made connections. I redid all the connections and I have had no electrical issues since.  By the way .. After they said that they could not meet their deadline the owner told me it was foolish of me to expect to drive my car to the Buick Meet 350 miles away. After I had repaired their work we have since driven the car to the 2013 South Bend meet 1,750 mile round trip. To Nashville TN. close to 1,900 miles and lastly to Brookfield WI at 1,915 miles including touring.

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Gary,

 

I think I know how they made the mistake on your rebuilt headlight switch. I think they simply switched the middle and the left sliding contact in the switch. The middle one is wider and that looks like it would cause the headlights to be on in the off position. I disassembled, cleaned, reassembled, and analysed my 1938 headlight switch today. I am attaching before and after photos of the internal contacts.

 

From comparing the 1937 and 1938 service manuals I am convinced that the 1937 and 1938 headlight switch operate the same. I have not confirmed this since I don't have a spare 1937 switch available to easily check.

 

There is one wire that is on the 1937 wiring diagram that is missing on the 1938 diagram. I am fairly certain that they realized there was a redundant source of power that made that wire unecessary. The attached pdf is the result of some analysis of my 1938 headlight switch today. There are a lot of different internal connections happening at the same time in those switches. The redundancy probably make the switch less likely to fail but the redundant switching operations on multiple contacts make it very difficult to understand all of the switching taking place and thus makes fault diagnosis very difficult. I still have not mapped out quite everthing because I have not yet incorporated the dimmer switch into the analysis. Hopefully this might help you when you are trying to figure out your headlight problem, if the second rebuild of the other headlight switch does not solve it.  

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1938 Buick Headlight Switch.pdf

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Matt:

Great job!  I will get under there and open it up.  That would be nice to find an easy fix.  It HAS to be in the switch.  All the wiring is to the Buick blueprint.  

 

I notice your Century switch is longer than my Special.  The whole section where the pull knob connects is longer.  The business end looks exactly the same.

 

Thanks Matt!  Hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving

 

Gary

 

 

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Edited by Gary W
added photo (see edit history)

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Maybe the length is the difference between the 1937 and 1938 switch, since they appear to be basically identical on the wiring diagram but do have different part numbers. Maybe I will find some time to crawl under the dash of my 1937 Century and compare the two in the near future.

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11 hours ago, dibarlaw said:

Dave :

 The RI harness was very nice. I had a local shop install it while they were doing some work to get my 37 into driver condition.

 On my to do list for them was a wiring harness and they suggested RI. Also on the list was to remove the added 1950s turn signal lights and get the harness with the extra wires to provide for turn signals incorporated into the parking lights and brake/tail lights.

 They had promised to have the car ready to drive to the 2012 Buick Nationals in NC. After the first few monthly visits to their shop we saw that nothing was getting done and the owner said that they would not be able to get the car ready for the Nationals. He then said that it was a good Idea to get a new wiring harness. I reminded him that this was on my original list. The statement was that no way could they get the car done on time since RI would need at least a months lead time to make up the harness. I called RI and they said that they had the harness in stock. 2 months after the NC meet (that I was supposed to be able to drive to) they were still about 1/2 done.  They had the harness installed, BUT, they put the wrong one in without the extra wiring for the turn signals. (they did take care of it by installing extra outside wiring and loom at an extra $300+). So, after a lot of runaround, things not done on the list, double cost estimates etc. I had to get the car back and end this relationship. When we got the car back I drove it a total of 2 miles when it quit at the busiest intersection at rush hour. I had to push it to the side of the road and tow it home. What I found was that even though they had installed a new harness they did not clean any connections and there were several incorrectly made connections. I redid all the connections and I have had no electrical issues since.  By the way .. After they said that they could not meet their deadline the owner told me it was foolish of me to expect to drive my car to the Buick Meet 350 miles away. After I had repaired their work we have since driven the car to the 2013 South Bend meet 1,750 mile round trip. To Nashville TN. close to 1,900 miles and lastly to Brookfield WI at 1,915 miles including touring.

 

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Friday November 24, 2017:  Tail Light / Brake Light  and Trunk Light / License Plate Light Restoration:

 

 

If only I ate a little less yesterday, I could  have gotten a LOT more done today!

Both rear fenders are in yellow, and I should be taking delivery Wednesday next week so today I finished the rear-facing lamps.

These pictures will overlap as I did the both concurrently.

 

 

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Guts of the tail light / brake light assembly.  Everything was rusted... Even the rubber seal was rusty!  You can see the condition of the wires.

 

 

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There was an extra ground wire attached in there.

 

 

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License plate lamp / License plate holder assembly as removed from the car.

 

 

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Here you can see the paint cracking off the piece.

 

 

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The underside with the bulb base unit removed.  Just a long thumb screw holds the lamp base in position.

 

 

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Remove those two screws to free the license plate attachment from the unit.

 

 

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Remove the spring loaded screws that keep pressure on the glass lenses.  These parts are left and right as there is a definite top and bottom  groove to accept the glass edge.

 

 

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Then I carefully pried the ends of the stainless strips to remove them.

 

 

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I laid the stainless strips out on paper as I removed them and labeled them for future reference.

 

 

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The housings went into Bob's shop already sandblasted.  He fine sanded them, shot them with self etch primer, build prime then the base/clear.

 

 

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Ready to have it's guts re-installed!

 

 

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I opened up my bags and tags and laid everything out this morning.  

This is the innards for the tail lamps.  Those paper gaskets are shot.  

The lights have the SAME body part # BUT different LENS part #'s.

 

 

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Here are the trunk light / license plate light internal parts.

 

 

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Tail lamp socket obviously needs rewiring.

 

 

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Socket housing ready to get the wire wheel cleanup.

 

 

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All the guts were rusted.

 

 

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After wire wheeling off all the crud.  Tail lamps.

 

 

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License plate holder internal guts after the wire wheel.

 

 

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All mounting related parts got a prime and gloss black paint.  All the "electrical" screws just remained unpainted metal.

 

 

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Step one was to build the sockets.  Again, start by un-soldering the "bullets" off the old wire ends and solder them into the new socket wires.

I ended up using 14-gauge stranded wire as it fit nicely through the socket insulator holes easily.

 

 

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Solder the bulb contacts first.  Then you have to slide on the upper insulator,  springs,  lower insulator plate then shrink wrap before making the lower solder connection to the base.

 

 

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Then, using gasket paper, I traced and cut out four new glass gaskets, two for each side.

 

 

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A sharp blade made the inside cuts.

 

 

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socket wired and ready to be assembled into the housing.

 

 

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And here you see the lens set in the housing with two gaskets in place and the lower tabs bent over to secure everything in position.

 

 

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Install the socket into the housing.

 

 

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Install the lens cover

 

 

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The view of the completed set up.

 

 

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Test OK!

 

 

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Trunk lamp assembly.  I first used a thin bead of black gasket adhesive on the edges of the glass to try to alleviate any rattling.

Then I installed the arrow-head keepers into position to hold the glass steady.  These do have grooves to mate with the glass edges and go in one way.

 

 

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This is the arrowhead shaped "plunger".  Notice the groove is noticeably larger in the upper part of the arrow head.

 

 

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I installed the socket base into the license plate holder, then attached the entire assembly to the housing.  

The license plate parts were sanded, primed and painted "Trim Black" in a previous post.

 

 

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Every piece of stainless was polished to a high shine, and immediately installed so I didn't mess the order up.

I peeled it off my sheet, polished it, and installed it before tearing another off my cheat-sheet.

 

 

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Line them up in the grooves and by using just digital pressure you can easily move the tabs into position on the inside of the housing.

 

 

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One by one until they all are into position.  

I will paint the groove black and do my wipe technique later on.  Too much handling to do it early.

I also have to touch up the "BUICK" in the glass with a little chrome paint.

 

 

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But its all wired and ready to go on the car!

 

 

Have a great night!

Gary

 

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11 hours ago, MCHinson said:

Maybe the length is the difference between the 1937 and 1938 switch, since they appear to be basically identical on the wiring diagram but do have different part numbers. Maybe I will find some time to crawl under the dash of my 1937 Century and compare the two in the near future.

 

Matt I've been wondering if the part number difference could just be do to Delco changing their numbering system?

 

Carl

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