Gary W

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

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Wednesday November 14, 2018:  Finishing up the carburetor swap

 

You know how whenever you make a change, it can sometimes start a cascade of new issues to tackle?

Nothing huge, but because the new Carter carburetor is different, there are a couple issues that I had to finalize today:

 

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This is the carburetor side of the engine just after I finished making the heat stove pipe to feed the automatic choke.

Although it works flawlessly, I wasn't too keen on the appearance.  I just like when things are tight.

So, I took it all off, flipped the metal part on the manifold so the hole was facing front, not to the back and bent a new copper tube.

 

 

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OK..  to me it just looks so much better this way.  I'm still waiting for the "asbestos" wrap to come in to finish it all.

NOW...  here's the cascade of events today..

I want to finish by installing the air cleaner.  BUT, the diameter of the air cleaner and the top of the Carter are exactly the same!

My air cleaner used to fit over the Marvel, but this Carter has a wider throat up there and the air cleaner basically just "sits" on top.

 

 

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Using a 1" wide by 1/16" thick aluminum bar, I wrapped it around a Rustoleum spray can to form the basic shape.

I cut the inclines to fit under the air cleaner and drilled a 1/4" hole to accept the screw.

 

 

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After smoothing it down on the belt sander, my homemade clamp was ready to go......

 

Which immediately illuminated the next issue...  This Carter sits higher!

So, the hood wouldn't close with everything installed!

 

 

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The Carter is sitting on the same stack of gaskets that the Marvel sat on.

I e-mailed Jon, and he told me the Carter only needs two gaskets. So, I figured I can easily find a half an inch by removing the large stack under there.

 

Remove the air cleaner, fuel line, the heat line and the three 1/2" nuts, raise the Carter just enough to remove the stack, place only two gaskets and drop it down...........

 

 

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Which of course means I need some thick washers now, as the mounting studs stick up "higher"

And two of the washers had to be custom made by clipping one side to fit within the parameters of the casting.

 

 

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Now we're cooking!  

But of course, the fuel line and the heat line had to be "reworked" to fit.  Amazing how only a half an inch changes the geometry of everything.

 

 

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Here's my clamp, finally installed under the air cleaner.

 

 

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And now, I think I can finally say the Marvel to Carter transition is complete!

 

I'll try to get to the painting this weekend.  

 

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday November 14, 2018:  Some Before and After Engine Photos:

 

Before I finish tonight, I want to share some before and after photos of the left side of the engine.

These photos are exactly two years apart.

 

 

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BEFORE:  11/14/2016

 

 

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AFTER:  11/14/2018

 

 

 

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BEFORE:  11/14/2016

 

 

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AFTER:  11/14/2018

 

 

 

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BEFORE:  11/14/2016

 

 

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AFTER:  11/14/2018

 

 

 

Love the transition and the final product.

You forget what you started with after a couple years.  Fun to revisit it and realize how much work is involved.

 

Have a great night!

Gary

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Do I see a hood prop in those photos? If so, where did you get it and how does it mount?

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I'm using the  same hood prop that was on the car when I bought it.  All I did was tighten it up and slid a heavier neoprene tube over the ends that support the hood.

It's attached to the radiator support rods.  I honestly think it's a generic hood prop.  And although that Buick hood is heavy, the prop holds it up without a problem.  I was actually thinking of stealing the idea and by using small channel steel fabricating my own version that holds the hood up a little higher and would be more heavy duty.

 

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January 11, 2017:  I took this photo when I removed the hood so I had an idea of the angle of the cross over strut.  But the photo captured the hood prop.

 

 

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I think its just this product.  It has threaded hooks that hold it to the radiator support rods.

 

 

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This version has "u" bolts that hold it steady.  But this is what's on it.

Mine has the longer arms installed to reach the Buick hood.

 

 

Gary

Edited by Gary W (see edit history)
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May I show a non-Buick here? It is an 8, though... Gary, if you don't like it, say so and it will disappear!

 

It is a blasted nuisance working on this car if you have to go to one side then the other than back again. Only one side can be open at a time - it lies right across the other side, essentially horizontal. Timber props, just slip into the radiator stays. The weight of the bonnet holds them in place. Cheap cheap. There is a slot in the inner end for the stay to fit in and a block stop on the outer end. They just tuck away in the trunk on the back if they need to go on holiday with the car.

 

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That's ingenious! Simple but elegant solution ... doesn't get better!

 

Gorgeous car!  Dodge?  Welcome anytime here.

 

Thank you...  appreciate your advice throughout this build.

 

Gary

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 Another inexpensive hood prop is easily made from an old shovel handle or whatever you have handy. Has many other convenient uses like thumping on tires, getting someone's attention or ........   Well you get the idea.  :)

 Here are a couple pictures of what I use. I just cut out a notch from an old shovel handle and put it on the hood support rods.

PB180095.JPG

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Saturday November 24, 2018:  Installation of the Robe Rails  (Part One of Two)

 

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving and had enough to eat.  I know I did!

It's kind of gray, cold and yucky out today, so after setting up the tree and the outdoor lights, I decided to finally tackle the robe rails.

Sincere thanks for the measurements that were sent in...  they helped very much.

 

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I started with simple push pins to help locate the hidden holes under the fabric and padding.

Then I used heavier gauge sewing needles and tapped them in to be sure I found some wood under there.

 

 

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The sewing needles made a small hole, and I used that to then drive finishing nails to finally confirm that there is a mounting place there.

 

 

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Using the robe rail mount, I finalized the measurements to be sure the holes all lined up right.

 

 

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My holes are two inches down from the upper bend in the seat metal, not the upper trim welt.

 

 

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Then I tried as best I can to get the two sides equally spaced off the middle of the seats.

Once I was satisfied that all the measurements were correct,

 

 

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I pulled each finishing nail and immediately marked the spot with a dot of chalk so I can see it through the mounting bracket.

 

 

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Here are the measurements I'm going with on the inner aspect of the seats.

 

 

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LeBaron made these robe rails up for me.  They come with the special loop installed at the ends.

I started on the side closest to the center and ran the screw through the loop.

 

 

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Found each hole and tightened it up.

So far so good......

 

 

 

Part two next....

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Saturday November 24, 2018:  Installation of the Robe Rails  (Part Two of Two)

 

 

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After installing both inner mounting brackets, it's starting to finally look finished.  

This was going much better than I anticipated!  

 

But alas.......  even this seemingly small interior project would not go without a speed bump!

 

 

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I got the outer side ready for the install.  Using a leftover brass wood screw (I need to run to Home Depot for the correct oval heads) I again ran the screw through the robe rail loop.

 

When I tried to install it, the robe rail is THREE INCHES too small!  It doesn't reach the chalk marks, not even close.

 

 

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So, I went back and looked at my notes.  The robe rails I removed were 23 inches measured from loop to loop.

These new robe rails just barely make 20 inches.  

RATS!

 

 

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So, another call to LBB to have new ones made the proper length.

But, I did want to get finished so what I did as a temporary measure was

 

 

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Used some green Christmas hanging wire to basically extend the loop 1 1/2" around the mounting screw.

I had to do both sides, of course.

But, this allowed me to at least get the mounts installed and tap the holes.

 

 

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So, they're in, but will be changed out whenever I get the new ones.

 

 

Enjoy your weekend out there!!

 

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Edited by Gary W (see edit history)
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On 10/3/2018 at 7:49 AM, rodneybeauchamp said:

Can you assist in explaining how the heater is plumbed. I found in the first pages pictures showing the routing of the two heater hoses but could not find any on/off valve or tap. 

How  is the heat turned on or off apart from the two flaps on the heater box.

 

On 10/3/2018 at 8:52 AM, dibarlaw said:

Rodney:

 My heater is the same as Gary's. There was no shut off. Just the flaps /doors on the front to control the heat and the motor/fan switch. In the summer it will still put out heat. When summer driving I would disconnect the heater hose and install a pipe plug in the fittings. One could also employ a shut off tap on the feed hose.

 

On 10/3/2018 at 10:31 AM, DonMicheletti said:

My 2 '38's have a water adjustable shutoff valve at the thermostat neck. I always wndered if that is original.

Does anyone know what the installation manual says?

 

I found this 1937 "Buick Delivered Prices" 

 

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See the prices of the Heaters on the right side.

 It seems for a mere 75 cents, you could have a water circulation shut-off valve installed with that new heater!

 

It makes you realize what 75 cents meant back then.  My car has the heater, but the owner opted not to go the extra for the valve.

 

Actually, when you study the difference in price from the Special to the Century,  there is only, on average, a $216.00 difference for a huge upgrade.

Longer wheelbase, larger engine, more horsepower, upgraded interior.... But $216.00 in 1937 was probably 6-weeks pay!  (Maybe  2-months?)

 

Just thought it was interesting.........

Gary

Edited by Gary W
I did the math to average out the prices from Century to Special for each model. (see edit history)
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 The Century also had a different differential with heavier axles, wider brake shoes and drums, heavier duty transmission, larger radiator, and 15 instead of 16 inch wheels (although the cost of the wheels probably didn't change much). 

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Gary,

Seems that it is the "hurry up and wait" game regarding getting the proper parts and materials in the restoration game.   I have been waiting for over two and a half months to get my radiator for my 36 Pontiac. We are down to two or three manufacturers of radiators here stateside.  All the new radiators are aluminum/plastic throw away models.  Made in China, Mexico or ? ?    

 

My local radiator guy said that he could get the core in a week.  Well, seems that the old guys that use to build the "honeycomb" cores are few and far in between. And to top it all off, the Pontiac radiators (and who knows which others) have a 45 degree bevel at the top of the core.  My original radiator is a two row.  The straight eight's all had three rows.  I am having one made for my fellow Pontiac member back in Minnesota.  His is an 8.

His local source wanted $4,800.00 for a radiator.  And my friend had the old radiator!  I told him to send it to me here in San Diego.  My guy is building two of them for $900.00.  That is $450.00 each ! !   New 3 row cores and  the tanks and support housings and fittings installed !   But they will not be the "honeycomb" style.  These new guys do not have the experience to do that type of core.  I am sure that you all have a source for good radiator work back East. 

 

The reason for my reply;   My Plymouth and Pontiac both have the water shut off VALVE (copper tipped bolt that turns & seats in a conical  seat) that is basically a fitting that screws into the top of the head or, in some cases, the block.  The seat in the housing and bolt on both of my cars are corroded beyond repair.  Fashioning a  new one on my lathe is not an easy proposition.  The bolt is not a problem but fabricating a new fitting (with the copper internal conical seat) that screws into the block is out of my wheelhouse.  I have been looking around and have not found one yet.  Seems that all the manufacturers used this shut off valve.  So...........the company that made them for all the manufacturers back then is probably gone.  Does any of you Buick guys have a source for this shut off valve?  It probably is the same for all the 30's cars.  Your help with this quest will be appreciated.

 

Randy L

 

 

 

Your      

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15 minutes ago, Randiego said:

Does any of you Buick guys have a source for this shut off valve? 

Pictures usually help......

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Hi Randy:

Not necessarily in this order, but you can check:

 

Restoration Supply Co.   www.restorationstuff.com

McMaster Carr

Bob's Automobilia

Supply House.com    Great selection of needle valves

Advanced Auto Parts    (Carquest manual shut off valve. part #84703)

Auto Zone

O'Reillly Auto parts

 

Hope it helps!!!

 

PS:  I do not have the heater shut off valve installed, which means water circulates through the heater core all year long.

 

I used Cap-A-Radiator in New York to do my recore.  I'm very happy with their work.

 

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Gary

 

Edited by Gary W (see edit history)

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My heater valve was leaky. The replacements I found didnt look right because they were plated. I ended up repairing what was on my car, it looked original.

The repair was a PITA. Lots of machined parts.

The photo is after repair and replacement

DSCN2748.JPG

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Gents,

I have been away for a while and I want to thank you for all your responses.  I was trying to keep my valve "authentic" with the look.  I never thought that the local auto parts stores would have the valve as they were not used after the 50's.  Most of the items in the auto parts stores these days are Chinese junk.  The metal is far inferior to what we had available to us just a few short years ago.  I will check with Restoration Parts as it is 20 minutes from my location and a few others. I,  like Don M, want to keep the authentic look.  Plus the valve body of his looks to be bronze.  It just wouldn't do to put a cad plated housing with a "T" valve handle.  Those did not exist back in the day.  I will search in earnest and report back who has the correct valve.   Thank you all for your input.  

Randy

 

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15 hours ago, Randiego said:

It just wouldn't do to put a cad plated housing with a "T" valve handle

1930 Dodge 8 has almost every nut, bolt and screw cad. plated. My radiator tap is plated with a "T" handle, although the handle is made from a thin piece folded into a U rather than just a flat piece of steel. You might not find much cadmium plated automotive stuff now; the chemicals and hence the waste are pretty toxic. I think it is mainly the aero industries that do cad. plating.

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On 12/7/2018 at 10:35 AM, DonMicheletti said:

My heater valve was leaky. The replacements I found didnt look right because they were plated. I ended up repairing what was on my car, it looked original.

The repair was a PITA. Lots of machined parts.

The photo is after repair and replacement

DSCN2748.JPG

 

Those are two different looking valves for sure. 

 

If a modern valve could be found that looked the same, or similar enough, it could be painted black to hide the modern finish. 

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All,

Gary's chronicled work has been very inspiring.  I was so impressed with the woodgrain results that I sought to replicate Gary's effort for my own '37 Special.  I investigated hand graining, di-noc, and hydrographics.  At the end of the day, I selected the hydro route for the combination of quality, durability and cost.   I'm very pleased.  Thanks for the inspiration, Gary!

Neill

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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1 hour ago, bigmck said:

Thanks for the inspiration

 

 

 

Neill;

 

Your dash panel looks beautiful!  Be very proud of it!  You did a great job!

 

Thank you for the kind words........  That "inspiration" was one of the main reasons I started this thread.

Remember, I was a novice to these "big Buicks" two years ago.  I published this restoration journey, (the good, bad and ugly), for a couple reasons:

 

First:  Selfish reasons.  I needed help from the members here, and I knew it.  

Second:  Hopefully as a "guide" so others feel empowered to tackle some projects on their own cars, both big and small.  

Third:  That others will see my methods and chime in with either  "Oh...that's how you do that!"  or  "Don't do it that way!..  Do it like this..."

 

Judging from the many, many, many messages I've received throughout this restoration (both public and private), I feel like I've met these goals.

I will forever be indebted to the members here who have followed along and encouraged me every step of the way.  The talent here is just amazing.

 

 

Thank you for sharing your work, I truly appreciate you mentioning inspiration.  It means a lot.

 

Going forward, I would like to somehow make a "table of contents" or "glossary" of some sorts to help index the many subjects contained in the blog.

 

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

 

Gary

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Gary,

In the scheme of things here, how much longer do you think you have left to be totally done with this restoration?  You have done a wonderful job on this car and all of us watching this are anxiously awaiting the video of the first back on the road drive.

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

 

Barbara and Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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Hi Terry!

 

At this point, I have these few things on my checklist to finish the restoration:

1. Interior:  I'm still waiting for the rear window shade to come back from LBB.  When I get that shade installed, the interior will finally be done.

2. Exterior:  She is going back to Bob's paint shop for a few touch-ups, final glaze and hand rub.  That will finish the exterior.

3. Mechanical:  I am bringing her to get the front end aligned in a couple of weeks.  Although she tracks really straight, I want to have it all checked under there.

                            I am going to set up the hand throttle as it was from the factory.  I found a cable that will work nicely with my dash knob.

                            At 300 miles, I am going to do another oil change and make any adjustments that are necessary. 

 

I think that 300 mile benchmark is my "finish line".

 

 

I actually have 170 miles on her now, slowly breaking her in and making little adjustments as I go along.  She rides beautifully.  

 

 

 

I love this car.

 

Gary

 

 

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