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1954 century sedan. GA to NC


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On June 17, 2017 at 4:42 PM, wndsofchng06 said:

Began with some PB blast, the bolts came right off, and dang if the tank wasn't slap-full of fuel.  I now have 3 gas cans of old gas. Surprisingly it wasn't too badly varnished and didn't smell too stale so I will run it in my lawnmower.  I guess having a full tank saved the tank itself.  The sender was in good shape and the inside of the tank is very clean!  

 

Somehow missed this post. Tom and his dad , who collected all these cars were both pilots and Tom told me his dad used to keep all the tanks filled to the top with aviation fuel as it does not evaporate like regular fuel. So hold on to that mower when you start cutting grass.

but yea, even if it was regular fuel, keeping it filled always help to keep the condensate to a minimum thus reducing rust and water in the gas. I keep all mine, especially my diesel tractor topped off. 

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I wish mine were that far already.  Radiator will soon be on it's way.  Wheel seals and gaskets for the diff are ordered and shipped last night.  Gotta figure out which route to go on sealing up the torque ball, thanks to Willie I know I don't want anything where rubber is vulcanized to zinc plating.  After these items, tires should be the last bit to a maiden voyage.    My fall and winter projects will be headliner, weather stripping, new sound matting and carpet.

Edited by wndsofchng06 (see edit history)
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Drive it first and see how much the Dynaflow leaks. Unless it's noticeable, it may be bearable until suitable replacement is found. Likewise, while you're in there it'd probably be best to replace the transmission mounts, too. I don't remember where I bought my seal from, probably Fusick. Shimming it is the hardest part, some resistance, enough to not be able to barely move the output shaft by hand while it's dry. Also if your torque ball has never been serviced before, it will have rubber on the ball that will need to be removed since the rubber is now on the retainer. 

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I sort of like those wheel covers on the car pictured. The hub caps and beauty rings look good on yours too mind ya, but just sayin. White roof, white walls and wheels painted red with full covers and the red Century emblem would be a nice balance me thinks.

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2 minutes ago, Beemon said:

Drive it first and see how much the Dynaflow leaks.

 

I agree and was about to say the same thing. The Special that I bought from Pete several years ago then sold to my mailman had sat in a barn for many years. Today the engine is running great and the transmission doesn't drip a drop, all he did was change the fluid.  I don't recall seeing any signs of  yours having leaked in my garage for the time that it was there.

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4 minutes ago, MrEarl said:

 

I agree and was about to say the same thing. The Special that I bought from Pete several years ago then sold to my mailman had sat in a barn for many years. Today the engine is running great and the transmission doesn't drip a drop, all he did was change the fluid.  I don't recall seeing any signs of  yours having leaked in my garage for the time that it was there.

 

11 minutes ago, Beemon said:

Drive it first and see how much the Dynaflow leaks. Unless it's noticeable, it may be bearable until suitable replacement is found. Likewise, while you're in there it'd probably be best to replace the transmission mounts, too. I don't remember where I bought my seal from, probably Fusick. Shimming it is the hardest part, some resistance, enough to not be able to barely move the output shaft by hand while it's dry. Also if your torque ball has never been serviced before, it will have rubber on the ball that will need to be removed since the rubber is now on the retainer. 

Hmmmm  I haven't seen any drips but the the area around the torque ball is awful greasy, I was thinking since I have the car up on stands, the gas tank out, and the rear end taken apart, just get it done now.   The rear end has clearly been leaking and the rear wheel seals (axle seals) have been leaking so I ordered those along with the differential carrier gasket, and differential cover gasket.

Edited by wndsofchng06 (see edit history)
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Don't get in over your head man,  leave it be if it's dry. The gunk on the ball might even be a seal itself! :P change it when you notice it on the dip stick.

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23 minutes ago, wndsofchng06 said:

The rear end has clearly been leaking and the rear wheel seals (axle seals) have been leaking so I ordered those along with the differential carrier gasket, and differential cover gasket.

Hopefully you've pulled the inspection plate off the rear end to check for transmission fluid in the gear box ? I just recently saw the same leaks you describe on a parts car I was about to pull a rear end from. When I pulled the inspection plate it was full up to the level of the axles with transmission fluid and the rear ring and pinion gears were gone.   

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1 minute ago, MrEarl said:

Hopefully you've pulled the inspection plate off the rear end to check for transmission fluid in the gear box ? I just recently saw the same leaks you describe on a parts car I was about to pull a rear end from. When I pulled the inspection plate it was full up to the level of the axles with transmission fluid and the rear ring and pinion gears were gone.   

I have not yet.... By gone.... you mean totally worn off?  I just got it up on stands, the tank, rear wheels, and rear brakes pulled off.  I didn't want to open her up until the seals arrived. I hadn't even thought about the inspection plate.  I'll do that first.  *crosses fingers*

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"Gone" as in

IMG_5544.JPGIMG_5539.JPGIMG_5527.JPG

 

 

 

With greasy fingers I texted the pictures to Willie. He called me back and while "gone" wasn't quite the term he used, I got what he was saying.

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I also just realized I need two wheel seals per side, an inner and outer.  HMM  I wonder what's coming in the mail, it didn't specify when I ordered it.  I only see one part # listed.  Are the inner and outer the same?

Edited by wndsofchng06 (see edit history)
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When I bought wheel seals from NAPA that were for our range of Buicks, it came with two seals. One was a pressed in seal like on the front, and the other was an o-ring that goes around the wheel bearing. In 56, they just used the o-ring, so I'm guessing the other is probably for you.

 

Edit: I'm wrong on that one. Just looked at the 54 shop manual... all I see online is for the rear outer seal. You might want to measure the OD of the inner seal and the OD of the axle where the seal rides and then take those numbers to a parts store with a book.

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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Rear axles are quite a bit different in 1956. You have a carrier that holds the bearing on the external of the housing. With the 54/55 there's a seal then the bearing than another seal that is pressed into the end of the axle tube. And the axles are actually held with a retainer clip that is in the differential 

Edited by wndsofchng06 (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, Beemon said:

Shimming it is the hardest part

No need to adjust.  Just use two shims as gaskets.  You do need shims and adjust if using the original metal-metal outer torque ball retainer...not needed if using the later one (check out a 58 Buick service manual).

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17 minutes ago, old-tank said:

No need to adjust.  Just use two shims as gaskets.  You do need shims and adjust if using the original metal-metal outer torque ball retainer...not needed if using the later one (check out a 58 Buick service manual).

I noticed theres a rubber boot thats sold separately and the theres the leak fix kits, do I need both? Is this what stops trans fluid from going down the torque tube?

Edited by wndsofchng06 (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, MrEarl said:

Yea, fingers crossed brother.

Right after work I opened it up.  No sign of trans fluid and the level was just at the fill plug. The gear oil had separated into thin oil and pudding. Cleaned it out and will await my seals. No apparent metal damage.

20170620_185437.jpg

Edited by wndsofchng06 (see edit history)
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Sadly OCD is kicking in and I'm finding more and more to do.   So how does one "test " rear shocks.  I know Willie has a blurb about rebuilding them.  Mine are real stiff but smooth, they don't  seems to return on their own though.... should they?

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5 minutes ago, wndsofchng06 said:

 Mine are real stiff but smooth, they don't  seems to return on their own though

Working as designed.  Top off the fluid and tolerate small leaks if present.

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20 minutes ago, old-tank said:

Working as designed.  Top off the fluid and tolerate small leaks if present.

Thats good, since now I have to buy wheel bearings.  Fķng bearing puller slipped and bent the cage...  ugh!

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I had mine built by a hydraulic shop and hasn't leaked since. It's not braided steel like original, but it works. If I were to do it again, it would be rubber hose and some good barb fittings. CARS sells the line but you'd have to call and see if it's ethanol safe. 

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If you want something completely bulletproof in ethanol-laced gas, look for "SAE 30R9" rated fuel hose. Oreilly has it in little blisterpacks hanging out in the store. It doesnt say so on the package, but the package is made so you can open it and look. It is rather expensive.

 

This is generally used with fuel-injection style (non-extruding) clamps. They also have clamps.

 

I suspect this is complete overkill for the supply side of a mechanical fuel pump for a carburetor. This hose is intended for high pressure fuel injection systems.

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Don't change the pinion seal (and you cannot change the pinion seal) unless the rear axle assembly is removed, disassembled and the driveshaft is removed from the pinion.  Even with a leaking pinion seal the rear gear oil will find a level inside the torque tube below the driveshaft (drill a hole back there to monitor for auto tranny fluid if dynaflow).  Only change the axle seals, outer torque ball retainer and the seal at the front of the torque tube.

IF you do need to separate the driveshaft from the pinion , see my website ( and I will loan the tool if needed).

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Thanks!  I was trying to change the gasket between the tube and the carrier.  I gave up, covered the old one in rtv and put it back.  Also got the carrier to axle housing gasket changed.  Now the rear bearings are in the freezer for install tomorrow.

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