Gary W

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

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With the finishing line in sight, congratulations.  Did you mention what is next, how do you plan to use the car?  Judging first then maybe a national tour, ice cream with the Mrs. or ...?

I just ordered a wiring harness from Rhode Island because it is the company you suggested.

Regards, Gary V

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Hi Tom!  Yes.. P-51 Mustang.  My boys fly them. 


As far as the use of the car.  I'm mostly a "Sunday Driver".  We have a lot of backroads throughout Monmouth County that are 35 mph roads and being I'm usually the first one up, John and I will go for a nice 25-mile run early in the morning throughout the back roads and finish up at the beach.  I try to attend a few car shows every year, but with a busy family it's not always practical for me to tie up an entire day.  The bagel and coffee runs on the weekends always spark great conversations in the parking lots.  I use my cars mostly just for enjoyment.  I don't usually enter shows for judging, but I think I would like to explore the steps necessary to take the car to Hershey.  I don't know how that all works to get a Junior / Senior.   I've never attended a multi-day tour.  Sounds like fun though.  My buddy John has been all over the country in his Model "A" participating in over 25 Glidden Tours.  I guess for me, it's the drive.  I love the sound of the old engines, the transmissions winding up, the smell of the exhaust, the all-around experience of the machine.  Truly sets your mind straight and makes me happy.  


I can't wait to get her on the road.



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5 hours ago, Gary W said:

 I guess for me, it's the drive.  I love the sound of the old engines, the transmissions winding up, the smell of the exhaust, the all-around experience of the machine.  Truly sets your mind straight and makes me happy.

Exactly, this.^^^  +1

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A lot of great information Gary, I will refer to this thread often.




1940 Super Coupe

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Please consider having your work judged, it is worthwhile to you and the public.  My wife and I live in quiet farming area so can easily and often drive as you suggest and though nice I would suggest meeting other car owners and forming lasting friendships could be the real prize.  From participating in organized tours my wife and I have friends in NJ and know some of the folks who frequent these forums.   I think of it as taking my car on vacation.   Thanks again, Gary V

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I don't know if you mentioned what kind of camera you have been using for the photos in your thread.  It is outstanding and since I have to replace my Canon (stolen) I would like to know which camera or cameras you have been using.  The pictures are crisp and clear from a distance and up close.  Of course, that is half the battle as the other half is the operator.  But seeing a lot of threads with pictures, yours is top shelf.  



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Hi Randy!

I'm a Nikon guy.  Brand loyal for over 30 years.  Used to shoot 35mm with my old Nikon and the photos looked like professional postcards.  So when I made the transition to digital in 2005  (reluctantly, by the way) I bought a Nikon.  My first digital was the D40x.  I still have it, and it still functions fine except the flash stopped working.  So in 2013 I upgraded to the Nikon D500 and used it right up to this past October, when, working on the Buick, I knocked it off the bench and it landed hard....  bent the lens ring and something inside was rattling around....... it was totally inoperable.  Bummer because I think that was my favorite. So, in October I bit the bullet, went to Costco and purchased a new D7500, full kit with all the lenses......  So far I'm happy with it.  A few little quirks that I think they have "over engineered" into the software, but were starting to get comfortable with one another!  

So all the photos from the headliner install to current are the new D7500.


Thanks for following along!


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I buy cameras based on indestructiblilty rather than photo quality  ;).    I buy Canon lol.  For fear of running further off-tangent, I won't post a pic of it.  Lets just say it's supposed to be gray in color, and it's now almost black from contact with the ground.  Works like a charm though.  I have also been know to leave it out in the rain overnight. 

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I have been shooting Canon since my brother came back from Japan in the early 70's with his FTB SLR.   So I went out and bought one.  Later, I got an AE-1 and another FTB (from a guy getting a divorce).  I still have  them although they are relegated to the shelf.   My first digital was a Kodak (poor quality when they first came  out) and then an Olympus.  Good camera, also stolen.  My luck with cameras, eh?


I got a Rebel XTI in early 2006 and have been using it with the Canon 70/140 zoom lens.  I am very comfortable with it but you have given me pause as to what to get this time.  Since I had my whole camera kit (with lenses and cards) stolen in December, I am settling with the insurance company now and am going to replace the camera.  I will go to Costco and look at the Nikon.  When I purchased the Canon, I bought it through  there in your neck of the woods (NYC) The price with the lens was less than the body at the local camera shop.  They are about the least expensive around.  Just thought that I would pass than along.  Plus with  (stands for buy digital), the shipping is free and there is no tax as I am out of state.  Plus you can get a 5 year warranty for minimal investment (against drops, rain, cracked lenses but not theft).  


I have to hand it to the Nikon though.  Really crisp and clear pics.  Now you have thrown a wrench into the gears.  



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FYI,   I was watching an "Antique Roadshow" that they taped in St. Louis.  In the intro, lo and behold, there is a 37 Buick 2 Dr. black sedan sitting on the curb.  Just like yours.  Were you aware of this?  lt isn't a lot of air time but it is nice to see the car that you are restoring in a notable place.  You can google the show and see it in the opening shots.



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Wednesday February 21, 2018:  Driver's Door Update....  Paint shop and my prep work at home getting ready for the install.



I stopped by Bob's shop this morning to get some updated photos.  While I was there, Bob and I turned the door over so he can start painting the innards.  

I took the opportunity to remove the lock handle mechanism, the window riser mechanism and the door wedge so I can start getting myself prepped and ready for the install once its released from paint.

This series of photos covers the last few days, so you'll see photos with a little snow still on the ground from Sunday, but the story doesn't change!


Here we go...



The driver's door with the fiberglass cured and roughed out.




As rough as it looks, it actually feels pretty smooth to the touch.    He then sanded out the entire door, removing all the old bondo.

The metal is in really nice shape, kind of the same story we've encountered throughout the build.




By mixing these three in the correct proportions, the filler is ready to be applied.




Here you can see the filler applied.  It cures pretty fast.




Bob starts sanding out the ridges in every direction to get a smooth finish.  He starts with a 36 grit, then progresses up to a 180(?)




It's been such a great experience to watch him work.  Here he is rolling the pad around the bottom to correctly restore the original contours.

This is how I left the shop Tuesday morning.




This morning, the sanding was all done up the entire door skin and the self-etching primer was applied.

Bob and I flipped the door over so he can start working on the inside.




While it was turned over, I removed the door opening handle mechanism....




The window regulator screws




The two other screws that retain the channel above the arm rest and dropped the entire window riser mechanism out.




And finally, removed the door wedge.




Back home, here was today's haul!




Again, the rust is all over everything.




I dealt with the door wedge first.  I started by soaking it in lacquer thinner to release the paint.




Then out to the buffing wheel, using tripoli and then jewelers rouge to give it a nice shine.




And just like that, the door wedge and it's mounting screws were done.




For the rest of the stuff, Mother nature gifted us with a 79 degree day today so I took my trusty wire wheel out of the shed and got to work.




It took a while to get all the rust and crud off these parts.  

Then a thorough scrubbing in a pan of acetone to remove the residual film from the wheel and to be certain all the sand from the blasting was completely removed from the moving parts.




My paint booth is back in operation.  First a self-etch primer, then SEM "Trim Black" as the final coat.

I let everything hang out in the sunshine, heat and wind and it dried very quickly today.




If you've never tried the SEM products, and especially this "Trim Black", try it.  It really is great stuff and the finish is beautiful.




Going back a couple of days, but relevant.  Here's the driver's door window.  I marked the channel position with tape so I can transfer the position to the new glass.

But after installing the passenger side, I'm going to follow the exact same protocol.  Keep it loose and let it "find itself" before making a permanent seal.




Once marked, knock the channel off the bottom of the glass.




I guess this is the glass setting material that was used originally?




With the channel chucked in the vise, I used a screwdriver to release the material from the sides.  It was stuck on there pretty good.




A little scraping along the bottom and it peeled out in one piece.




It looks and feels like some sort of canvas material.




The channel was quite rusty throughout the inside.




I wrapped a paint stirring stick with sandpaper and sanded it all out nice and clean.




Then I used a 1/4" thick ruler (same thickness as my glass) and by using the vise, I was able to "pinch" the top in so the glass will set nice and secure.




So now when I use the Window Weld, It won't be such a runny mess.




Once cleaned and scrubbed, it also got the self-etch prime coat and the trim black final coat.





Now the parts are laid out on the workbench, all ready for the door to start the install.

Just another view of the finish. 






I have all my stuff organized and ready to go!




Have a great night out there!







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11 hours ago, Gary W said:






I have all my stuff organized and ready to go!




Have a great night out there!



Gary, I would be comfortable letting you work on my teeth any time! :P:lol:

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79 degree day in FEBRUARY ? ? !  And we are freezing our keesters off out here in "Sunny So. Cal".  Woke up this morning with frost on my windshield.  Got down to 30 this morning and it won't be warmer than 57 today. Slows everything down for us out here.  Wimps eh?

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Yup. In the forecast for the next week, I did see it get above freezing. With mostly sunshine expected, we may be on track for the second driest February on record. We don't have much snow right now. 


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Wednesday February 28, 2018:  Update at the paint shop 



Last Thursday the driver's door was sanded smooth and the yellow self-etch prime applied.

Bob had a couple small jobs finish for other customers so he got them out so he could finish my door.




Monday afternoon with the grey build up primer applied and the "guide coat"




Tuesday morning the final sanding.  Progressively working up to a 320 grit, the guide coat starts to disappear.




He stopped to let me get this photo of the area not sanded yet.




As he moves up to the final 320, he sands in an up and down direction to follow the contour of the door.  

The black will show if you go left and right and make even the slightest depression in the finish.




It's amazing to me how much sanding dust is created.




This morning the door was at the final prep stage, wiped down and ready for the paint.

The primer has a nice sheen to it.




Finishing up the Super Jet Black for my job.  Bob was waiting for a delivery of "base maker" to be sure he had enough mixed for the door.




I couldn't stay for the spraying, but here's the door at 12:30 today.  Base and clear applied..




Now it needs time to cure, then wet sand, machine compound and by Saturday/Sunday I should be installing it on the car!




I learned that the car should have forward hood latches as well as the rear (cowl mounted) ones.  

My car did not have the forward latches, so once again, a call to Dave Tachney and three days later I had them.

It is so great having people like him to help us out.  It's great dealing with him.  He knows everything.

I mounted them first and check the operation before restoring them.  Once they checked out, it was........




Out to the wire wheel to clean all the rust off.




Then an acetone scrubbing, self-etch prime and




Rustoleum Automotive Gloss Black to finish.  I'll give them a few hours to dry and install them later on tonight.


So, hopefully by Sunday Night the drivers door will be fully assembled and installed and then the interior kit can be installed.


Have a great night!





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Hi Gary, I have been watching your restoration from the start. Great job!!!! not only on the car but the documentation of it. I really admire your perseverance with this project.  I see you are in Monmouth county. I live in Ocean county. I have been following the paint work closely and  the guy you have doing it seems to do excellent work. I am in the process of restoring my 29 Franklin 4 door sedan and am just about ready for paint. I am in no rush. Do you think he would be interested in doing it?  I do not want to "step on anyone's toes"  . You can pm me if you want to. I would love to see your car someday. Are you going to show it at any of the local meets, AACA  meets or just drive it? Again great job on the Buick!! Jim 

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Saturday March 3 and Sunday March 4, 2018:  Installation of the Driver's Door......  from A to Z!




Saturday Morning, 9:00 am.  I went to the shop and Bob was finishing up the Drivers door.  Getting it's final hand rub.




The finish is absolutely beautiful.  I spent an hour with him, and the two of us turned the door over.....




And while I installed the lower door weatherstrip.....




Bob installed the large one that wraps around the entire perimeter of the door.

We worked as a team, I laid out the 3M weatherstrip adhesive ahead of him laying it out.

Two guys working, it gets done in no time.




While still sitting "shiny side down", Bob sprayed the trim black over the center section that was still in yellow self-etch.




And then the two of us loaded the door into the Sequoia, and home we go!




The last "paint shop" item coming into the garage ready for installation.  We attempted to go straight onto the car, but this side was a lot tougher to get the hinges into position.




I ended up taking a fine flat file to the inner hinge surfaces to remove any trace of paint and primer that was in there.

then a light smear of oil...




2nd attempt, still no go, but getting closer.  So it was a little more sanding, cleaning, oiling...




And calling in the experts!  Once the upper hinge found its way into position, Matthew dropped a screwdriver in there to hold it while we got the lower hinge seated.

A little stressful, but ultimately we did get the door hung.




I started by installing the door wedge that I polished up last week.




Then the door check with a new rubber stopper installed.  Again, I set it so it stops the door before the hinges bottom out.




Then the lock mechanism that I finished last week.




I smeared a light coat of red grease on the leather ends and inside the channels of the window regulator mechanism.

I pre-built it, collapsed it into a straight line and......




Slid it up into position in the door.  Fastened all six large machine screws and it was done.




Coming together nicely and a couple well placed drops of oil and everything functions nice and smooth.




Next item was the drip shield that sits above the vent window.  Only two screws and it's in.




Using the ferrule seating tool, I installed the chrome door handle ferrule with it's rubber gasket.

Following the directions, I made four "punches" with it.  It does "pull" the ferrule nice and tight into the door.

(And now I'm done with the tool so if anyone needs to borrow it.......)




It makes a nice, neat job.




Then on to the handle and the handle retaining screw.  It's so cool opening these bags from a year ago and now I hardly have any bags left to open.




From the Buick manual.




Turn the handle slightly down to line up the internal holes and give you room to install the handle pin.




Screw it in and the outside door handle is secured tight.




And the handle sits nice and level on this side.




So now it's time to get all the upper  window / glass / channels installed, adjusted, checked, double checked.....  

Just like the passenger side, I basically install everything first JUST TO GET THE WINDOW properly seated in its carrier.  

All this work just to double check the glass is in the correct position fore and aft and moves easily through the door felts and seals properly.


So here goes with the window installation stuff:



Install the vent window.  Four upper screws secure the vent window frame into the door, four lower large machine screws hold the mechanism to the door.

I put one screw in the bottom just to hold it.   Then, while flexible, I install the upper screws to be sure the frame is nice and straight.

Then finish the lower screws to complete the installation.




Next, install the vent window separator.  I was getting a lot of pushback from the new rubber vent seals, so I s-l-o-w-l-y used a new blade and trimmed back the rubber until it all fit nicely.




Next, the lower window channel that goes in the belly of the door.




I install this part very loose for now, as I have to loosen it to fit it to the glass so there is no binding as the glass moves.




Now on to the window felt.  Like before, I simply use the glass as my template and very slowly and very carefully start making the bend.

You have to go out to the end and get it "moving" so it doesn't bind or tear.  Take your time, it'll go.




Here's the basic shape.  The corner looks like it has a "flat" spot, but I got that radius smoothed out.




So, I measured 14 inches beyond the glass surface, marked it and cut it with a dremel cut-off wheel.   




Now over to the door frame.  I like this way of doing things.  I first place tape over all four holes. Stick the punch through and mark the spot with marker.




When I bring the felt channel over to the door, I use a gold marker to transfer the line onto the channel.

Be sure to push that channel nice and tight into the door frame before making your marks.

I also make a mark so I can custom cut the front edge to mate with the vent window.




Over to the vice.  There is a 1/4" piece of wood bracing the channel while I drill.

If you look close, you can see the gold dot on the side, which guides where I make the mounting holes.




Before installing the channel, I tapped all the holes with the new screws.




Here's the finish up top where the felt channel meets the vent window separator channel.

Also, the vent glass meets the division separator rubber nicely and all this looks good.

Now, to install the glass, this has to come out!  

So I removed the three top screws from the felt channel, dropped the channel to gain access to the vent window separator mounting screws.

Then remove the vent window separator, and crank open the vent window.  

Now, I'm ready to drop in the glass and get the glass aligned properly in the carrier.




But first, the new glass goes inside for a cleaning to remove all the dried on tape and whatever.  




Drop the glass in and insert screws to hold the carrier to the regulator.  Then line up the lower glass felt channel, re-install the vent window separator and the window glass channel.

I raised and lowered the glass several times and when I was finally happy that the glass was operating smoothly, I marked it's position and took everything back out.




I know it's a lot of extra steps, but I really want the glass to set in position without binding or stressing the glass.

So here is my mark with the final position the glass will be set.




Again, a bead of 3M "Window-Weld" along the bottom of the carrier and drop the glass in.

Let it set up overnight, cut any excess with a sharp blade and its ready to be installed "for good"



Sunday March 4: Final installation of all the glass related stuff.




Now sure everything is aligned, today I started by dropping the glass into the door and securing it to the window regulator with four screws and shake proof washers.




Then the vent window separator, the felt channel and finish lining up the lower felt channel.




Roll it up, and down, and up.....  nice!  It's a lot of work, but I need to double check each little step along the way.

So now, only one thing left, and it's the fun thing!




Grab 10 mounting clips, snap them in to the side molding...




Line them up one at a time, and start snapping the trim strip into the door.




And the door is DONE!!




View from the back.




Driver's side.




Passenger's side.




She's looking sharp!  The lines of these cars are pure perfection!  Every elevation, every angle........ beautiful.


Tomorrow I'll start covering my rear arm rests, and then on to interior installation.


Have a great night out there!






Edited by Gary W (see edit history)
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HUZZA HUZZA ! ! !  No way a modern car can touch the  beauty of the 30's cars.  Sleek design and the art of the automobile has, in my estimation, diminished to these plastic "blobs" flying down the freeways.  The Buick that you have restored is a piece of the automotive art from an era long gone.


When you drive this fine car, you will be transported back to an era where "planned obsolescence" was not in the vocabulary of the automotive manufacturers.  The other nice factor here, Gary, is that this car is restored far nicer than when it came off of the assembly line and will last many lifetimes due to your care and diligence. Involving your family in it's restoration will bond all to the Buick. 


Another neat factor is that you are young enough to really enjoy this car and will have many, many years of enjoyment before your driving days are over.  By the time most of us out here are in the financial position to do a restoration, we have much less  a "window of time" to enjoy the fruits of our labor. 


We all await the interior and the rest of the car to be finished. It will be nice to see a video of you driving the Buick on a nice spring day down some nice country lane.  


It will be a bitter sweet day for us to know that there won't be any more postings regarding the Buick. 

but...................We await another car to grace your garage for the next project.   :-)


When you do show it it would be nice to see the Buick in the show setting and you getting your first award(s) for your fine work.




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I can't resist posting another "before and after" comparison.  Gary, you are a gentleman and a scholar, and you have really helped me figure out how to tackle projects with my own car.  Kudos to you!





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Sunday March 11, 2018:  Sometimes the little things.........


Today marks 14 months since taking the first bolt out and starting this restoration.

Update regarding the interior:  LeBaron Bonney got a bad dye lot, and the interior won't be shipped until they test the new fabrics, so I'm kinda in neutral waiting.

In the meantime, my lease is up at the storage facility, and I had to bring the Model "A"'s home.

Little bummed, as I really like working in the open space, and thought I'd be totally finished by now, but some things you just have no control over.


So I installed the front license plate, started getting rid of some restoration "residual things" and had to clean up to make room for two more cars!




The license plate was the very first thing I removed.  The fasteners were completely rusted and unusable.  During the restoration, I bought these bolts for the rear hood hold down.

They come in a pack of 10, so there were plenty left over.




I first ran a 5/16 bit through the hole to clean up the powder coat.  Then, squared off the opening with a file so the shoulder fit snug.




Being the license bracket has an "offset" or a "drop" where the bolt inserts, I used a hacksaw to remove one side of the bole head.




Dressed it with a flat file




And now the bolt sits in the license plate support nice and flush.

Sometimes these little things take quite a while to get just right!




So now the front is looking good.....except getting that hood lined up at the top. Still needs some tweaking there, but Bob said he'll help me get it just right.




Now it's time to move the beast.  She's had the entire garage to herself for over a year and I had to get my other cars from storage.

So, I spent some time cleaning up the garage to make space.  (I have to get four cars in a three car garage)




Out in the daylight she goes!




Then it's almost magical what happens when the sunlight hits that paint!




Really looks beautiful outside.




Let me share a couple of photos.




Just so cool.




Then I sat on my plastic crate, started her up, and parked it in the single bay.

John came over and we drove to the storage place and got the Model "A"'s back home and the garage is totally filled up!




As I'm going through the parts I removed and won't be reusing, I got these photos of the glass markings.  

I was just wondering if any were original or if both were replaced being they have different marks on them.





Does anyone etch these markings into new glass?  Or is there a kit or a clear plastic stick on?





So, I'll keep you updated as the interior saga unfolds.


Enjoy your Sunday!


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I know this the Buick Pre-War forum, but I am sure all would like to see some pics of your Fords.

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