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1954 century sedan. GA to NC


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I will be using my dremel tonight to cut the welds.  Then I am bringing the piece to a friend who is a machinist by trade.  He's going to generate a drawing and we'll make an additional part. (I cannot make multiples to sell as I am not allowed to use the machines at work for personal gains).  However, I will gladly free share the drawing, then if anyone ever needs to make one of these things again (I doubt that will happen, but if) they can.

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versus making a new part, could you not instead dremel cut the 3 flexible spokes off the 4 inch round plate and swap that plate including the splined piece and cam.  I have seen the tack welds of these spokes to the plate break before and be repaired by tack welding back on. Just a thought.

Is this the steering wheel I sold you? if so please know I never realized it was missing that cam and am sorry for all the trouble it is causing. One has to wonder how the heck it went missing in the first place.

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8 hours ago, MrEarl said:

versus making a new part, could you not instead dremel cut the 3 flexible spokes off the 4 inch round plate and swap that plate including the splined piece and cam.  I have seen the tack welds of these spokes to the plate break before and be repaired by tack welding back on. Just a thought.

Is this the steering wheel I sold you? if so please know I never realized it was missing that cam and am sorry for all the trouble it is causing. One has to wonder how the heck it went missing in the first place.

Sh*t happens.   We all miss things.  I do wonder how the piece got gone, especially on an otherwise stellar steering wheel.  I didn't even think about cutting the spokes loose and swapping the hubs....  interesting idea, would allow me to use the nicer chrome trim ring also.  I'll evaluate and report back, probably tomorrow as I have meetings until 8pm tonight.

Edited by wndsofchng06 (see edit history)
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30 minutes ago, wndsofchng06 said:

Sh*t happens.   We all miss things.  I do wonder how the piece got gone, especially on an otherwise stellar steering wheel.  I didn't even think about cutting the spokes loose and swapping the hubs....  interesting idea, would allow me to use the nicer chrome trim ring also.  I'll evaluate and report back, probably tomorrow as I have meeting until 8pm tonight.

 

Well this could turn out just splendid!  

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On 5/3/2017 at 1:32 PM, MrEarl said:

versus making a new part, could you not instead dremel cut the 3 flexible spokes off the 4 inch round plate and swap that plate including the splined piece and cam.  I have seen the tack welds of these spokes to the plate break before and be repaired by tack welding back on. Just a thought.

Is this the steering wheel I sold you? if so please know I never realized it was missing that cam and am sorry for all the trouble it is causing. One has to wonder how the heck it went missing in the first place.

So I looked at this option... the spokes are not just "tacked" the welds are under them,  like a spot weld almost. Anyhow,  trying to cut these was going to end in disaster.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Next week (Monday) I dive into the world of title bonding in NC.  My insurance company sells me a bond, based on the DMV's book value on the car.  The inspector is coming Monday to view the VIN plate and have an overall look at the car for any suspicious (chop shop) type stuff.  I should be able to get a registration immediately but the bond on the title will remain for three years.

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Sounds like Washington. After October this year, I'll have one year before the car is officially in my name. Which is fine, as long as my grandpa is living and lost title doesn't show up in my uncle's hand. You should have nothing to worry about. 

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48 minutes ago, JohnD1956 said:

Surprised is right.  I am only 10 miles away from that place an I never knew it was there! 

Seems like a good guy! Very responsive and helpful via email and phone. I'll let y'all know how good the kit and instructions are next week. 

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"No Theft History"  eh? That's a joke.  You apparently didn't tell him what you paid for it!  :lol::lol::lol:

 

Congrats on passing the examination. So now you get to hold your breath for what, three years, to see if anyone files a theft claim. Good, go ahead and get her all fixed up and I'll be up to take her back. 

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2 minutes ago, MrEarl said:

"No Theft History"  Good, go ahead and get her all fixed up and I'll be up to take her back. 

 

Hmmm  looks like it's time to end the project thread....

 

HA HA HA HA HA

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if you think old crap is expensive just wait to see what a full disc conversion will cost. (and with not a lot of gain, drums have been stopping these cars fine for years)

 

I would strongly recommend you rethink, keep it simple and go with original and actually Roadmaster drums and backing plates as they are wider than the small series. And you are welcome to come down to Georgia and pull a set of those at NC if you'd like.

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Just read a months worth of posts in this thread.  Good call on the radiator shop Lamar!  I think the refund on recycled brass could be nearly $50 bucks, that would help bring the radiator cost down.

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5 hours ago, MrEarl said:

if you think old crap is expensive just wait to see what a full disc conversion will cost. (and with not a lot of gain, drums have been stopping these cars fine for 67 years)

 

I would strongly recommend you rethink, keep it simple and go with original and actually Roadmaster drums and backing plates as they are wider than the small series. And you are welcome to come down to Georgia and pull a set of those at NC if you'd like.

 

A word of caution about the Roadmaster brake shoes - they don't make replacements for them over the counter with the correct metal shoe. So if you go that route, you need some original shoes to be sent off to be relined.

 

Disc brakes have their place, though. They are expensive to set up (mostly the cost of the kit), you won't see any real gains performance wise, but all the parts are readily available cheap over the counter. Drum  breaks are self energizing, which does two things: 1. stops you faster, 2. heats up faster without a vent to atmosphere. Drums also put pressure to the circumference of the wheel, where discs clamp down at different radii, making them less effective the closer they get to the hub. Discs directly vent to atmosphere, though, so while you may stop the same as drums, you can stop more often without brake fade. You also don't have to spend a lot of money to send the pads to be relined and can buy the best pads over the counter. I did a thread a while while back that compared the cost of the disc kit to refurbishing your drum setup. I think the discs still came in under when you factor in shoes being sent out for relining, spring kits are $20+ these days, front wheel cylinders are $20+ these days, new drums if you can't find old ones are $120+ each, plus the regrind since they come oblonged sometimes. Even new wheel bearings are cheaply made and just as expensive, though you can probably repack the original ones and be on your way.

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If you want disc brakes, then you should have them.  But please document a safe and effective install of a complete system on a 55.  And don't believe Scarebird when they tell you that you can just use your existing single master cylinder with no other modifications.

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Ok. After lots of drinking last night and nursing my hangover today,  I'm coming back to my senses...... got plenty of front drums now, and should have more fronts and rear on the way this summer thanks to father buick. Ordering wheel cylinders since not one of the 8 I have are any good. 

Edited by wndsofchng06 (see edit history)
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14 hours ago, old-tank said:

And don't believe Scarebird when they tell you that you can just use your existing single master cylinder with no other modifications.

 

This is really important for future readers. Modern disc brakes need no more than 2lbs of residual pressure in line or they will prematurely clamp the rotor. The stock system is around 10lbs residual pressure, to keep the wheel cylinders primed for expansion and also to alleviate drain back to the master cylinder. Also brake calipers have larger reservoirs in comparison to wheel cylinders, and require more pedal movement to achieve safe braking. Think of how far the pedal moves on a modern car, then drive your 50s Buick - not a whole lot of pedal! The stock system may not have enough throw to completely pressurize the calipers to stop safely. 

 

Just make sure your drums are round and true and they will stop you right. 

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So I was going to rebuild my fuel pump today. I pulled out the stash and noticed one is different....hmm not sure what that came off .20170528_112612.thumb.jpg.64f6ff6d2e6b1f411c2f45ea2f860798.jpg see top center pump with the shorter lever?

Anyhow, got my little work area set up,  kitchen table of course. 

20170528_120042.thumb.jpg.aefa648f6425ad6b8ab89dd573b81fc9.jpg

Took out the very good instructions provided by Hal, read them,  and realized I'd need a press,  which I don't have.  I've put the pump and kit in a box,  on its way to NY and Hal can rebuild it for me! 

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2 hours ago, wndsofchng06 said:

The instructions say the rod in the center must be pressed out. 

Remove or grind off the 'keepers' on one end and tap out.  I guess you could press it out with a vise if you need to waste time :D.

The service manual has the best description.

 

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Does anyone have a recommendation on where to take the drums to be turned?  I know my local O'Reilly turns drums, but I'm certain if I show up with 60 year old drums, they won't have a dang clue, and if they can't find the specs, likely won't take the liability in turning them.

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5 hours ago, wndsofchng06 said:

Does anyone have a recommendation on where to take the drums to be turned?  I know my local O'Reilly turns drums, but I'm certain if I show up with 60 year old drums, they won't have a dang clue, and if they can't find the specs, likely won't take the liability in turning them.

Matt, for what it's worth, I did my turning at OReilly's. If they're kids, you can talk them into doing anything. Usually they look for a bevel on the inside edge as an indicator of how much meat is left. 

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3 hours ago, Fr. Buick said:

Find a funky old place on the poor wide of town, with a mechanic who is older.  He'll know what to do.

I use a brake/clutch place.  They turn the drums, reline the shoes (use oversize if needed) and arc the shoes to fit the drums (very little adjustment needed after initial break in).  Most places want to reject a drum if worn over 0.060, but my local place is a little more lenient and say that the old Buick drums tolerate more oversize.  Get a brake drum caliper and select your best drums; then use it to set the shoes before replacing the drum.

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Bumper back in place. Whew! I know it's hard to see the difference. But I can tell. Actually one dagmar is About 3/16" proud of the other and my eye catches it every time!  Drives me crazy!  But I've spent two days adjusting,  with no luck...

20170531_185251.jpg

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1 minute ago, old-tank said:

basic bumper and/or supports are probably tweaked

Silence!  I won't hear it! ??

I'm kidding but I am pretending it is fine as I dont want my OCD to make me pull the whole djmn car apart! 

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