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My 1957 75R - Big Gray


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What a STUBBORN SOB!

 

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I noted something else very interesting to me on this.  I've seen many black booster can/necks on 57-58 Buicks, and assumed they had been changed at one time.  But, I have no doubt this is original one given how it still had the putty seal around the neck buried against the firewall, further corroborated by the low mileage.  This one was clearly black as new.  So, black will go back on it.  I've also seen both clear (silver) and yellow cadmium.

 

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Posted (edited)

I took a couple extra days off and got a lot done on the coupe, in addition to a couple worthwhile house projects.

 

I got the firewall as close to original as I could get it.  I did not try to over-restore it.  I attempted to mimic the same processes and assembly as factory based on what I observed taking it apart.

 

Besides renewing the original components I also installed an NOS heater valve, threaded through the firewall an NOS temperature gauge (original was broken off) and installed an NOS wiper motor.

 

I still have to clean up and paint the heater core box and install recored heater core.  Otherwise, I'll be fixing a wheel on my engine hoist next, then prepping engine to drop into place.

 

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Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, avgwarhawk said:

Did you check the NOS heater valve for any issues?  I installed a NOS and it leaked.  I think the rubber simply perished over time as it sat.    

No I did not.  It has been well-stored and looks good though; rubber does not seem dry-rotted.  I didn't pressure test it or anything though.  I put it's sibling (from same source/storage) on my 75 several years ago though and it has been fine.

Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
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I got one more thing done this week.  An hour here and there, and I was able to disassemble and repaint heater core housing, install new core, and hang it on the car!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got a little bit done today.  In addition to unearthing the stuff I'd removed from the car and starting to sort through my box of engine stuff I got with the car, I replaced the oil pump and vacuum pump. 

 

The engine was built with the key removed that drove the vacuum pump, but I wanted it to function.  Fortunately I had an NOS assembly of both I'd found on Ebay a few years back.

 

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Posted (edited)

I am glad I did this.  The oil pan had tons of surface rust.  Fortunately I had a very nice one on the shelf.  The old one will be fine with some derusting.  I'm a little shocked that it was put on like this though, and wondering how it got like this in ther first place assuming pan was full of oil?

 

Quite a difference I think! 

 

I thought I had an oil pan gasket, but was mistaken so I have to wait a few days to put the pan back on.

 

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Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
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@lancemb Must have sat low on oil and then probably accumulated condensation over the years when not running..  Also surprised you hooked up the vacuum pump considering how it seems they were troublesome.  Good thing this car will have duel exhaust if the pan has to comedown to disable the vacuum pump in the future. 

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1 hour ago, JohnD1956 said:

@lancemb Must have sat low on oil and then probably accumulated condensation over the years when not running..  Also surprised you hooked up the vacuum pump considering how it seems they were troublesome.  Good thing this car will have duel exhaust if the pan has to comedown to disable the vacuum pump in the future. 

That makes sense.  It did sit for 50 years straight!

 

As far as the vacuum pump, I am making this car very authentic.  Eliminating the vacuum pump would mean eliminating the original wiper motor too and going electric.

 

I doubt if it will fail in my lifetime since I'm starting with a brand new one.  I do intend to drive the car, but it won't accrue a ton of miles.  Rarely do they fail like this one did, I think.   More typically they just get weak.

 

I guess time will tell!

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Well engine has pan and filter back on, so it looks pretty much as it did the last couple years on the outside.  It will be getting the intake, exhaust manifolds, and plugs installed next before going back in the car.

 

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Minor progress, having gotten the intake on.  I could not install the exhaust manifolds because I realized I don't have the heat shield.  I have one coming next week, though. 

 

I also got the lifting bracket and was happy to find that the outside holes lined up perfectly, and it's very well built.

 

Finally, I got my engine hoist repaired.  This coming week I should be able to make final preparations to drop the engine in next weekend.

 

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Is that plate under the exhaust manifold standard for the 57 engines? My 58's don't have that.

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Just now, dei said:

Is that plate under the exhaust manifold standard for the 57 engines? My 58's don't have that.

Do you mean the heat shield over the rear 2 ports?  If so, as far as I remember, yes.  They often don't make their way back on if somebody removes the exhaust manifold or the head though.

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No I was asking about the front two exhaust ports.

From my iPad it looks like a plate.

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On 4/30/2020 at 4:41 PM, lancemb said:

Took this afternoon off and spent a few hours finishing the dash removal.  Lots to disconnect and mark.  It's going to be a real hoot putting it back in!  But, that will be some fun for later.

 

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I'm saving all the info you are capturing here for later. I'm going to need it. Thanks for the great photos. 

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1 hour ago, dei said:

No I was asking about the front two exhaust ports.

From my iPad it looks like a plate.

As Buick5563 said, that is an exhaust manifold gasket.  I don't think they came on engine when new, but I swear by them.

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On 6/23/2020 at 5:02 PM, lancemb said:

As Buick5563 said, that is an exhaust manifold gasket.  I don't think they came on engine when new, but I swear by them.

I argued with myself about putting them on since they came with the engine gasket kit. I finally decided to leave them off, assuming that I'll need to remove the engine a few more times over the next year and I can put them on later if any exhaust problems surface. 

So far, no problems... 

 

When does your engine go back in the car? I'm anxious to see it. Love what you are doing here. 

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1 hour ago, High Desert said:

I argued with myself about putting them on since they came with the engine gasket kit. I finally decided to leave them off, assuming that I'll need to remove the engine a few more times over the next year and I can put them on later if any exhaust problems surface. 

So far, no problems... 

 

When does your engine go back in the car? I'm anxious to see it. Love what you are doing here. 

 

Besides sealing the surface, I like the exhaust gaskets because it allows a slight amount of flexing as a result of the heating and cooling cycles.  These manifolds on the driver side often crack, and my belief is that this is exacerbated by not having a gasket since it allows no flexing at the mounting face.  I'd personally rather have a slight amount of distortion develop (possibly) than have the manifold badly cracked.  These manifolds are getting harder and harder to find in uncracked condition, and are expensive when they are found.

 

I hope to drop the engine in tomorrow.  However, it will be some time before the car runs.  I don't plan to have inner fenders w/ associated electrical in place and cooling system in place before the car is painted, so it will wait until then to be fired up.

 

I will probably take the long weekend next week to spend going through my many boxes of parts, and doing a preliminary sorting so that I can determine which critical parts (if any) I need for this car and especially for the convertible; it will make things much easier going forward.  Plus, I'll then be able to sell any extras I don't want to keep and make some much-needed space.

 

I also have a few other things coming up that will take away from my "car time" on the weekend, so it may be awhile before I get the rear end, driveshaft/torque tube, transmission, and engine all bolted together and to the car.

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2 hours ago, lancemb said:

Besides sealing the surface, I like the exhaust gaskets because it allows a slight amount of flexing as a result of the heating and cooling cycles.  These manifolds on the driver side often crack, and my belief is that this is exacerbated by not having a gasket since it allows no flexing at the mounting face.  I'd personally rather have a slight amount of distortion develop (possibly) than have the manifold badly cracked.  These manifolds are getting harder and harder to find in uncracked condition, and are expensive when they are found.

Who know why they crack.  I have had more crack using gaskets and I only use gaskets if not sealing without.  My feeling is the manifolds run hotter with gaskets since there is no heat sink effect (transferring heat back to the cylinder head).  I use a very thin coat of high-temp RTV...maybe that helps the slide??

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1 hour ago, old-tank said:

My feeling is the manifolds run hotter with gaskets since there is no heat sink effect (transferring heat back to the cylinder head).

 

There is definitely logic to that.  They get pretty damn hot either way.  At least they have the benefit of air flow around all sides of them.  I guess to some extent since I know they crack without gaskets, I'm just taking the contrarian approach.

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I use them. A lot of times I will cut them out so you can’t see them as obviously. There are indeed harder to install that way.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, buick5563 said:

A lot of times I will cut them out so you can’t see them as obviously. There are indeed harder to install that way.

I have always done that in the past; this is the first time I didn't.  Reason is this is the first time I used the Fel-Pro brand, which already come in 2 pieces per side, so there is just the small extra piece, which I decided to live with.  The ones from CARS are one piece on each side, and since I was compelled to cut them smaller I wound up trimming them very nicely.  I have considered trimming the middle out of these still while on the engine, but I don't think I'll bother.

Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, avgwarhawk said:

It is recommended not to use gaskets for manifolds. 

It is not recommended by some, but is recommended by others.  At least some cars come from factory with some kind of gasket.  I have researched the pros and cons and have not been able to find any sufficient evidence to support not using them.  One thing that seems to be consistently recommended is to be sure not to over-tighten them, either way.  I suspect that many over-torque the manifold bolts when not using a gasket in order to get a good seal.  There should be no temptation to do this when using a gasket.

 

I think this is one of those debates which will persist indefinitely, and everyone will have their own comfort and preference for one way or the other.

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

It is not recommended by some, but is recommended by others.  At least some cars come from factory with some kind of gasket.  I have researched the pros and cons and have not been able to find any sufficient evidence to support not using them.  One thing that seems to be consistently recommended is to be sure not to over-tighten them, either way.  I suspect that many over-torque the manifold bolts when not using a gasket in order to get a good seal.  There should be no temptation to do this when using a gasket.

 

I think this is one of those debates which will persist indefinitely, and everyone will have their own comfort and preference for one way or the other.

 

For me, if there are not any evidence of leaking no gaskets are required.  As far as heating and cooling over a long period of time I have only experienced a manifold bolt head falling off never to be seen again.  This was on a 455 in a 73 Estate Wagon.  I agree, everyone has their trials and tribulations with gaskets.  It's another one if those discussions on the best oil they never really gets anywhere!! 

 

The motor here looks great. Hope to see a video of first start. Nothing like seeing a nailhead waking from a long slumber. 

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Posted (edited)

Ta-daa!  Engine and transmission are bolted in place finally.  I think this milestone calls for a couple beers tonight.

 

I still have lots of loose ends that are within my scope of work, but I'm only a short time away from having it at least roll again.

 

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Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, lancemb said:

Ta-daa!  Engine and transmission are bolted in place finally.  I think this milestone calls for a couple beers tonight.

 

I still have lots of loose ends that are within my scope of work, but I'm only a short time away from having it at least roll again.

 

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That is a beautiful engine! 

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On 6/26/2020 at 10:29 PM, lancemb said:

It is not recommended by some, but is recommended by others.  At least some cars come from factory with some kind of gasket.  I have researched the pros and cons and have not been able to find any sufficient evidence to support not using them.  One thing that seems to be consistently recommended is to be sure not to over-tighten them, either way.  I suspect that many over-torque the manifold bolts when not using a gasket in order to get a good seal.  There should be no temptation to do this when using a gasket.

 

I think this is one of those debates which will persist indefinitely, and everyone will have their own comfort and preference for one way or the other.

Yes, there are more ways to solve this issue.

When mine cracked, I welded it and had a machine shop mill the surface on both manifolds. No leaking, no issues what so ever and remember to use the french lock (like on your picture), so bolts don't get lose.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, I've spent the last few weeks sorting through and re-boxing parts to get a little more organized.  I finally got back to work on the car today.

 

I didn't have all day on the car but did manage to get the u-joint, torque ball, and new retainer in place (which I painted).

 

Next I'll get the rear wheels back on, and mate the torque tube up, tighten up retainer, and bolt everything back on the rear.

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Thanks Lance

 

Please keep the updates coming.  I'm currently on a very similar journey with my 75R.  Your posts serve as a great inspiration. :)

 

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Big milestone this week!  The car is off jackstands and on its own weight again with engine, trans, and rear end all mated together.

 

Now I get to start tying up loose ends!

 

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2 minutes ago, NC-car-guy said:

Wow!  Great work man.

Thank you!  I think I see a faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel!

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