Gary W

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

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Hello Riviera!  Great to hear from you!


*****(Sorry for the delay....  I was literally posting this Monday night and as I was proofreading....  Out went the lights.  They JUST came back on tonight!)*****



.....  and some answers for you:


1)  OIL: I use  "TORCO" brand,  TR-1(R)  10W-40.  I've been using this in my cars for years.  I buy it by the case and do all the cars at once.  

2)  FILTER: I'm not going to install an oil filter to the engine.  I faithfully change my oil every 500 miles or once a year.  It may sound wasteful, but I just like knowing I'm running fresh, clean oil.

3)  WAX:  Bob (my painter) turned me on to a product called "Collinite".  That's what I used for the show this time.  I have some favorites I've used through the years with successful results.

4)  TIRES: I love the way my bias tires look and I'm very satisfied with the ride.  The car drives beautifully!  


Some Photos:  (of course!)




Once I drained the break-in oil out of the engine, I filled it with this Torco TR-1(R).

I also use this oil in my Model "A"'s and the Model "T"




These have always been my "go-to" waxes of choice.  I like the Zymol, especially their "carbon black" but it was getting very expensive.




I've been a long time customer of Griot's Garage, and use their products constantly.

Their rubber cleaner and tire dressings make the wide whites just beautiful.




This is what Bob recommended .  Collinite No. 476S.

And he told me "never rub in circles!"  Always nice easy lines.




They're in Utica, NY for anyone interested.




The 1940 Buick at the show had radials.  Maybe they drive nicer, maybe they handle better....





But I still like the wide, four-inch white wall that the bias tires have.  

In my humble opinion, the bias tires just look more "period correct"  and I'm very happy with the ride.

Of course, I haven't driven another Buick of the same vintage with radials to compare the handling properties, so I'll leave it at that.  Aesthetics.


Thanks for checking in!



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Wednesday September 11, 2019:  Oil Pump Replacement



I now have 850 miles on the Buick, and she's running better everyday, but I've been constantly worried about the oil pressure.

 I've been following other threads and other discussions regarding the proper oil pressure, and I was never convinced my engine was getting the oil pressure Buick specified.

I do tend to obsess over everything, but this turned out to be a good one.


My car would immediately produce 38 psi at start up, cold oil.  After only a five minute idle, it would fall to about 28 - 30 psi.  

At speed, she would maintain about 25 pounds, but Buick specifies 45 psi.


But when it was hot, and sitting at a light, the actual oil pressure dropped to zero.  Literally dropped down to nothing.

This situation has been haunting me since day one, so I purchased another 1937 Buick oil pump from Dave Tachney and sent it to Egge for a rebuild.


This morning I got the time to swap out my original pump with the rebuild, and the difference is already noticeable .


I'd like to show how I did it step-by-step, as I get a lot of private messages and e-mails about this very subject.


ALSO....  I have to thank Mr. Art Sommers for graciously allowing me use of his lift!  The job took a little more than an hour to accomplish and that's because we were able to lift the car.


Here goes:



I disconnected my oil pressure dash gauge and replaced it with this gauge right on the block.

This way I can be sure that my low readings were not simply a bad dash gauge.

This photo is the car idling after a 20 mile drive on a fairly hot day.  The oil pressure at idle when hot is ZERO.

My dash gauge also showed zero, but I thought the dash gauge had to be off a bit.  It wasn't.



So, here is the step - by - step for anyone contemplating the job:




On the lift, my buddy John (now 89 years old) talking with Art Sommers.

1. Remove the dipstick

2. Drain the oil




3. Remove the flywheel cover pan.




4. Remove the 9/16" bolts that hold the front stabilizer to the frame.  Release the brackets to allow the bar a little movement.

Leave it attached to the front end.




5. Remove all 32 pan bolts.  A couple well placed taps on a screwdriver will release the pan.

6. Turn the flywheel so the crank journal up front is horizontal.

7. Jiggle pan down while pulling on the loosened stabilizer to get the clearance you need.

8. Remove two bolts to release the oil pump from the block.




Hard to see in low-res photos, but there is a little very, very fine metal "dust" in the pan.  (Those black chunks are gasket pieces that fell in on removal)

So, I guess with new pistons, new rings and the first 850 miles, there was a little metal scrapings in the pan.




9. Scrape all gasket material from pan and block.

10. Clean interior of pan of all foreign material




11. With a hammer, flatten all "bulging" areas around the mounting bolt holes so the pan sits nice and flush on the block.

12. I used a small amount of permatex black to tack the new pan gasket to the pan so it wouldn't slide around on installation.




13.  Pour oil into the new-rebuilt oil pump to fill it and "prime" it.  You can feel the resistance of the gears when it fills with oil.

14.  Install the oil pump gasket and look up at the position of the slot in the distributor shaft that the oil pump mates to.

15. Line up the slot, groove and bolt the pump in.

Here, I turned the flywheel by hand and watched the oil pump shaft turn to confirm she was seated properly.

16.  Again, with the crankshaft horizontal up front, and the new gasket lined up, seat the oil pan and begin installing 32 pan bolts.

(Your block is scraped clean and wiped off for the new gasket)

17. Install the flywheel cover pan

18. Replace the front stabilizer mounting brackets on to the frame

19.  Pour 6 - 7 quarts of oil back in the motor

20.  Replace the dipstick.




Start her up!

Now, on cold start, she jumped right up to 58 pounds!




After about 5 - 7 minutes idling to check for oil leaks....... Engine was warm and holding steady at 20 pounds.


I drove her home, about a ten mile drive in today's 88 degree heat and when I got home I let it set in the driveway and idle.

This was now all warmed up, engine hot, and super low idle and the pump is holding 10 pounds where she used to be zero.


I feel a lot better about replacing that unit.  I'm going to send my original out for rebuild next to have a spare.


Have a great night out there!









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Good job, glad you did this before accumulating too much mileage. I had the exact same issue 25 years ago after rebuilding my 38 Special engine which had 20-25 lbs at 50MPH and 2-3 lbs at idle when hot.  Your description is step for step what I did but I bought a rebuilt pump. Now, on cold start it goes to 45 lbs and stays there until the oil gets hot when it drops to 30-35 lbs at 50MPH and 10 lbs at idle. 


There is a relief spring in the pump that I think limits the max. pressure to 45 lbs but your pump seems to go higher. Was your pump rebuilt to factory specs or was the relief pressure increased? I suspect your pump is correct as my daily driver, a 2012  Cadillac

CTS-V, shows 55-60 lbs cold and drops to 40-45 lbs hot and 20-25 lbs at idle (idle RPM is faster than on the Buick) which is closer to what your pressure characteristic shows.  


Steve D



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 When I rebuilt my 37 Special pump in 1988 I was still able to get new gears. I installed those gears, lapped the bottom plate and reinstalled. The engine was started and I had 45-50 psi at idle. Today 31 years later it still has 45 psi at start up and at 50 mph. Hot, we are around 25-30 psi. A stop light idle after a long drive it goes down to 10-15 psi.

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Saturday, October 26, 2019:  First Thousand Miles!


Almost exactly one year since the maiden drive, She turned her first thousand!


During this first thousand "break-in" miles, I've done the following:

> Swapped out the reproduction front coil springs for the original coils to restore the proper front ride height

> Changed the original Marvel BD carburetor for a Carter 608S and all related linkages

> Replaced the thermostat gasket and bolts

> Hooked up the hand throttle

> Changed out the oil pump for a rebuilt unit

> Burned approximately 78 gallons of gas and changed the oil four times.

(oil: the break-in oil and the first change were fouled by the Marvel.  I also changed it during the oil pump swap)


Still to do:

> Make a rear shade and install it.  I'm looking for fabric now.

> Install an electric "priming" fuel pump to fill the carburetor when she sits over a week

> I'm also going to raise the seat about 3/4".  I'm 5' 7", and I feel like I need to sit a bit higher!


I have to say, this really is a fine automobile!  I absolutely enjoy driving it and find any excuse to get her on the road!



Turning 1000.  (Note that oil pressure sitting right at 45 psi!)




Sitting with the fall foliage on a beautiful day.


Have a great night out there!






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Always great when you add to your story Gary.  Does NJ require you to run the current tag no matter what (thus the 2 plates)?  Here in KY we can run the original year plate and just keep the current registered plate inside the car.

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I too am doing some final tweaks on the 36 Model 48. I have about 50 miles on mine. I need to adjust the suspension. Using the running boards, unless someone else has a better idea. What is the distance from the front running board to the ground and the back of the running board to the ground? I'm going to a suspension shop next week.

Appreciate any help.



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11 minutes ago, 39BuickEight said:

Always great when you add to your story Gary.  Does NJ require you to run the current tag no matter what (thus the 2 plates)?  Here in KY we can run the original year plate and just keep the current registered plate inside the car.

Same in NC - I have two 36 plates for NC.

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1 hour ago, 39BuickEight said:

Does NJ require you to run the current tag no matter what (thus the 2 plates)?



NJ requires two plates on every registered vehicle, one front, one rear.  You have to display the actual NJMVC issued "QQ" plates on your historic vehicle.  I think there is a petition brewing somewhere in Trenton to make it legal to only display a rear plate, but I don't know the current status.  I like getting my "QQ"'s personalized, I think they look cool.


About two years ago, I was getting my 1930 Roadster ready for the Monmouth County Concours d'Elegance.  To finish the detail, I put original restored 1930 plates on the car.  I was tooling around the block and got pulled over by a local officer who first asked me if the car was registered, (the original plates didn't jive with his computer) and then told me I need to get the "QQ" plates back on the car ASAP.  I WAS carrying them with me on the rear package shelf, but that wasn't good enough.  They had to be affixed to the car. I didn't get a ticket, but I think I was close!!   I wish we had a Y-O-M program like some states, but so far.........  


Always great checking in with you guys.  Love this place!


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Here is the bottom plate for my oil pump, before I emoryed it "just flat" and eliminated the dark leaking spots.

I sealed it with a THIN coat of #2 permatex, and stuck a 1/4" nut behind the pressure relief spring.

Per the old timers, there should be no more than .005" between the gears and the bottom plate.

Mine measures .0022" with "plastigage".

My unmolested '40 LTD motor now has 60+ on a cold start, and 40-50 @ 55MPH and 35 at a HOT extended idle, using Shell Rotella 15W/40, T4.

Hammering the pan holes back flat is also a good idea. Saves a lot of RTV.


Mike in Colorado



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Saturday November 16, 2019:  The Buick teaches me another lesson.........


Good morning out there.  

Here's one of those stories where you start the day with project "A" in mind (installing auxiliary fuel pump) and end up somewhere else!


I've been working on installing an auxiliary fuel pump, solely for priming the carburetor after she sits for 7+ days.  

The directions say to mount the pump close to the tank.   So...  I got under the car to seek out a good location and immediately noticed the right rear leaf spring leaves all "slid out" of stack!!!


It's funny, last week I took the car out to get some 3-y ear "before and after" photos, and my wife noticed in some of the photos that the car looks like it was leaning.  

I wrote it off to the angle of the camera.....  the position of the car in the photo....... until yesterday when I was under there.  


Let me show you what I found:




The rebound clips held the longest three leaves.  But the fourth slid out to the inside of the car, the bottom stack went out to the tire.




I did notice a heavy scratch down the leaves, I have no idea where that came from or if it is related to this issue...




I was able to jack up the rear end, rest the chassis rails down on the jack stands which "unloaded" the spring.

Just by loosening the stabilizer nut and all four U-Bolts, I was able to realign the leaves properly and tighten her back up.





3-years ago.   I went back to this photo just to see how far the nuts were tightened.




Then to the manual which states "It is important to tighten spring U-Bolts as tight as they can be drawn up with an 8" wrench"

Retighten at 1000 miles and again at 2000 miles.




And tighten them I did!  Then I went to check the drivers side and those nuts took another turn also!




November 2016 to November 2019.



I was thinking of getting another rebound clip for the middle of the stack.  I would get four, one for each side of the rear leaves.  Would that in any way change the riding qualities?

It just seems that there are a lot of "unprotected" leaves in that stack, and I don't want this to happen again.  Originally, the springs had a tin cover the entire length.




So here's my two cents:

When I first assembled the spring plate, I used my Ryobi 18V impact wrench to tighten things up.

 I NEVER even thought to check the tightness with a wrench, ratchet, breaker bar.... after using the impact.  I assumed the impact made it nice and tight.  



Even yesterday, I still used the impact to tighten up the nuts because it works fast and it was 28 degrees out. 

But when the impact was at it's limit, I put a ratchet on the nuts and EASILY got a full turn out of them!

So I tightened up the other side as well and went out for a ride.  All good.


So,  I think the issue is that the initial torque was insufficient.  

But....  I dodged a bullet because if that bottom stack swung inwards, It could have pierced my gas tank.  As it is, I only have a little scuff mark on my tire




Lesson Learned.








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 I pulled off the rusty spring covers off of mine also. I needed to ask what is the unloaded riding height of your car?  Say, from the bottom edge of the body below the center of trunk.

 Mine had the springs gone over and my car does seem lower at the rear. I count that we both have 8 leaves. Other 37s I have seen look to have a higher stance. I have a NOS set of rear shocks I have put off installing since I purchased them at Hershey over 30 years ago. Rear seat passengers have complained of the bouncy ride...



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Hi Larry!


From the bottom of that spot-welded "lip" under the trunk to the floor is 16 1/2".  

I have a spare tire and a full tool box in the trunk, I don't think that would change it much.  

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Thanks Gary.

 I have to get over to the building where I have the car stored. I think I did measure it before I moved it and believe it was more like 13 1/2". I think I have same compliment of things in my trunk.

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36 Buick Model 48. My car has had the suspension modernized. So, not much help here. But! I did take it to a spring shop that has been in business since 1935. :) They put more arch in the rear and cut a little from the front. She is now level and drives like a dream.

The distance between the rear fender and the rear tire- not stock rear tires - was so close I could barely get my hand between the two. I can now easily get my wheel tire strap off with no problems. Now that it runs right, I plan on doing more driving and less towing. :)



Edited by pplaut (see edit history)
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The weather finally broke and I was able to take the car out for a quick spin on some country roads. I was amazed at the difference. She road like a Buick instead of a go cart.

Thanks to all for any and all advice.


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Beautiful car Gary!

A couple of years ago  I saw a service bulletin or page out of a service manual (or?) showing the steps to reposition the front seat of a 37 back a few inches. I believe it was from the era. Seems it was a miscalculation by Buick having the front seat too far forward and not adjustable far enough back for that year. Has anyone seen that or know where it might be?

Thanks for any help,


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Hi Dave!


Yes, there is a "Buick Accepted" method for moving the front seat back.  

Basically, you remove the front seat frame, and reposition the seat hardware under there forward, so when the seat is replaced, it is effectively in a new rearward position.


The previous owner of my car simply drilled new holes in the floor to accomplish the task.  By drilling holes in the floor, he was able to reposition everything back about three inches.  But he also had to notch out the wood frame to allow battery access.

The Buick method will give you an additional 1/2".



Here is the procedure from the 1937 Dealer Service Bulletins from Oct 10, 1936 to July 15, 1937:



Page 23




Page 24




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