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Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick


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If it is leaking that much you should have oil droplets deposited on the rear bumper and trunk lid...if burning that much it should look like a land based crop sprayer.

Driving in the mountains with a leaking rear seal will cause oil loss when going uphill (oil slosh to back).  Try running 2 quarts low, but check after every 100 miles.

If burning, that is what 20w-50 oil plus STP is for.:o

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51 minutes ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

 

 Explain, please.

 

  Ben

 

3 qts missing max. It never drops below 3 qts missing. So there's about 4 qts in the crankcase, which I guess is enough because I've never lost oil pressure. 

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How's the oil pan gasket seal?  Did you pull the timing chain cover at any point?  Maybe leaking from the corner of the cover/block/oil pan?

Maybe leaking from the valley cover seal?

 

I did have a leak at my head gasket near the oil galley passage.  It was quite active there.  This was on the drivers side.  When I cleaned the area with brake cleaner, and dried it good, and then sealed the area with black RTV, the leak stopped.

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3 hours ago, Beemon said:

 

3 qts missing max. It never drops below 3 qts missing. So there's about 4 qts in the crankcase, which I guess is enough because I've never lost oil pressure. 

 

 I would think it is not burning then. The engine, while a good one, is not smart enough to quit burning because the oil level is too low.  Sure the dipstick is the correct one?  Maybe overfilling.  Believe I would take Willies suggestion and see what happens.

 

  Ben

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13 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

How's the oil pan gasket seal?  Did you pull the timing chain cover at any point?  Maybe leaking from the corner of the cover/block/oil pan?

Maybe leaking from the valley cover seal?

 

I did have a leak at my head gasket near the oil galley passage.  It was quite active there.  This was on the drivers side.  When I cleaned the area with brake cleaner, and dried it good, and then sealed the area with black RTV, the leak stopped.

 

John, was this at the front or the back? I think it may be leaking from the head gasket. I'll double check. I didn't think it possible to leak from the valley cover. Oil pan and timing cover are okay, timing cover was not messed with.

 

12 hours ago, 1956322 said:

Did you ever end up installing a modern edelbrock carb?

 

No not yet, I was going to do it over the weekend but its scheduled for tomorrow most likely. It will give me an excuse to check the heads for leaks. 

 

10 hours ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

 

 I would think it is not burning then. The engine, while a good one, is not smart enough to quit burning because the oil level is too low.  Sure the dipstick is the correct one?  Maybe overfilling.  Believe I would take Willies suggestion and see what happens.

 

  Ben

 

Dipstick is the correct part number I believe. When I do a full oil change, it takes the correct amount of oil.

 

3 hours ago, Smartin said:

Have you looked at the filter area while the car is running to make sure it's not leaking from there?  That is a LOT of oil to disappear without a trace. 

 

Oil filter is tight, it's always the first thing I check after an oil change... that and to make sure I put the drain plug back in! lol

 

Thank you all for chiming in. I will report back tomorrow.

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Well it's been longer than a day. John nailed it, it's got a massive leak at the front of the driver side cylinder head under the intake manifold. Is this a common problem? The head gasket was the same as the Victor it replaced, stamped sheet with the same raised edges. The leak developed after a few miles, too.

20181102_121904.jpg

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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It's Dad's Weekend at WSU and yesterday there was a car show up on the mall. 

 

This is the photo album. A lot of the onlookers that stopped by made comments about the Buick being the only one worth looking at. I don't agree or disagree with that statement, but there definitely seems to be a huge disconnect between what people did back then and what people do now.

30763779457_c73d8154a1_o.jpg

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On 11/2/2018 at 8:24 PM, Beemon said:

Well it's been longer than a day. John nailed it, it's got a massive leak at the front of the driver side cylinder head under the intake manifold. Is this a common problem? The head gasket was the same as the Victor it replaced, stamped sheet with the same raised edges. The leak developed after a few miles, too.

20181102_121904.jpg

I believe it was Russ Martin who told me some of them leak at the oil passage port.  I cleaned the area between the head and block with clorinated brake cleaner. And dried it with paper towels pushed to the depths with a flat screwdriver. When I  thought it was clean I did it one more time and then blew it with compressed air. Then I let it sit for an hour just in case there was moisture in the air. Then I filled the area with black RTV and let it cure for the 24 hours. If I had a set of intake manifold gaskets I would have done the length of the head, on both sides. 

If it hasnt stopped the leak alltogether it definitely reduced it to a negligible amount on my 56. 

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I was told the composite low compression gasket felpro was the one you wanted tho avoid. This gasket was identical to the OEM gasket. If it's just this port, though, then hopefully my issues will go away. 

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On 10/29/2018 at 9:25 AM, Beemon said:

3 qts per 500 miles, but it doesn't drop below 3.

Why would a head gasket leak stop after 3 qts?  If it is associated with the oil feed to the head, no patch will stop that leak which is under pressure.

I have had a head gasket leak where the return oil through the pushrod holes got past an incomplete seal in that area.  The oil went between the gasket and the block or head and exited at the rear of the head.

Check your torque wrench for accuracy and then retorque the heads...if no joy change the gasket.  I spray with mine with Copper Coat gasket sealer even though those gaskets  supposedly donnot need gasket sealer                                 

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So I did some looking again, I don't think it's the head gasket because the pools are no where near the oil galleys and I feel it would just be gushing out the sides of the block and not the top. I think it's the valley pan, but I'm a bit confused.

 

Is there a lot of oil that concentrates around the valley pan gasket? Like high concentrations of oil? Bear in mind I have a very manageable rear main leak, too. I thought gluing the gasket to the valley cover and then torquing to spec was enough, but I guess not.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Not much happening these days. I've been violently sick so I did not get to speak at the funeral, but the Buick was there. No pictures...

 

I haven't found the time or energy to swap intake manifolds. The shop lathe at the club house has been used to cope tubes for this season's Formula car so I haven't had time to modify my spare junkyard air cleaner bottom. The ID for the carb air horn needs to be enlarged to 5" or the modern equivalent. 

 

The Buick itself is at home. Its been snowing a bit up here, which isn't a scare for me at all around this time. The real issue is getting across Snoqualmie Pass next Friday and it can go one of two ways. I figured its best not to gamble so she's safely tucked away while I've been driving my Jeep around.

 

Today as my last project for the manufacturing class, we did laser engraving. I think it turned out fine, but I didn't account for the gradual taper and it looks a little goofy. Check it out:

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47483908_332441614256994_7746906024455438336_n.jpg?_nc_cat=100&_nc_ht=scontent-sea1-1.xx&oh=227aa7435ca231952db46c1a1c7ab589&oe=5CA66D48

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I'm revisiting my gas pedal starter idea. The switch body on the carb is just ugly and in the way. It does work, by the way.

 

My new idea is stemmed from a discussion about a year or two ago now that resurfaced, where Willis (NTX5467) suggested using a transmission kick down switch as the gas pedal starter switch. B&M makes a pretty crude kit that can be made to work, but it doesn't factor in the vacuum cutout for the original setup. So, I started looking into Harley VOES. I thought my problems had been answered, until I did some research and found out these switches are normally open until vacuum is applied and the switch closes the circuit. This is the opposite of what I'm looking for, but it was a step in the right direction. So, I went to the hardware store looking for various odds and ends:

 

A copper rivet and two brass screws.

 

I figure this will work since the original switch is two brass terminals with a piece of copper that closes the circuit on the end of a plastic bakelite plunger. Just like the ball bearing, the copper rivet, or "plunger", will be gravity held in the closed position, with vacuum pulling it up to open the circuit. The brass nipple fitting and the copper plunger would be hammered together to create a hard seal that will hopefully minimize vacuum leak. Either that, or a neoprene or rubber gasket can be glued to the bottom of the brass fitting. I had originally incorporated a spring in the design, but all the springs at the hardware store, by testing with a hand held vacuum pump, are too stiff to use. I don't think it will be much of an issue as long as the switch body is oriented vertically.

Cheb0.jpg

ChedW.png

 

The button heads for the brass screws would obviously be shaved down on the adjacent sides so they aren't so close to each other.

 

As for the kick down switch, I really don't want it anywhere visible. So, I'm looking at maybe putting it here:

Cheix.jpg

 

Since its cable operated, I would just need to find a way to attach it to the equalizer shaft between the throttle pedal and the throttle linkage. This will make for a concealed, clean install and keep the carburetor clean. 

 

The shop mill finally became free but I don't have my air cleaner assembly with me, so after break I'll be looking into opening up the air cleaner bottom to go over the top of the carburetor. The air valve secondary really makes this conversion a pain, but if done right, everything should look pretty stock.

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On 11/3/2018 at 7:07 PM, Beemon said:

It's Dad's Weekend at WSU and yesterday there was a car show up on the mall. 

 

This is the photo album. A lot of the onlookers that stopped by made comments about the Buick being the only one worth looking at. I don't agree or disagree with that statement, but there definitely seems to be a huge disconnect between what people did back then and what people do now.

30763779457_c73d8154a1_o.jpg

 

 

I truly understand the sentiment. On the other hand, this is the second time in the last couple of months I've heard about a car show sponsored by, and entered mostly by, college students, and that's encouraging. It's hard for me to admit that a car or truck from the 1980's or early 1990's id old...but it actually is! :) My '94 S-10 Chevy that I sold this year was near new when I bought it. If I'd waited just another 8 months before selling it...I could've put antique plates on it! :D

 

Beautiful Buick! And I really like several of those student cars, too.

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9 hours ago, old-tank said:

Have you considered using that section of an old carb?

 

That's what I had 3D printed before but it's cumbersome and there's no good place to mount it that's not an eye sore.

 

I've been using the push button for a bit now but it doesn't feel like a Buick. Also don't have the stock air cleaner on and I'm not a fan of the intake roar. I might swap back until I have all my eggs in one basket but it is nice to have a carburetor with immediate throttle response and no leaks. Gas mileage is still to be determined.

 

I have noticed on start up, idle is low and if adjusted to 600, after driving the idle is close to 900. If I readjust idle to 600 and shut off, when starting again it's around 300. Not sure why that is but it's pretty annoying.

 

Maybe some day I'll take my WCFB, bore and bush the throttle shafts and make custom jets... or buy an EFI kit and be done. I don't have an issue with the WCFB other than it slobbers fuel from the throttle shafts and that it's not ideal for modern fuels. 

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13 hours ago, Beemon said:

it's cumbersome and there's no good place to mount it that's not an eye sore.

Behind or below the engine, inside the car?  Just need to rig a way to rotate and then 2 electrical connections and a vacuum source.;)

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8 hours ago, wndsofchng06 said:

Try a different WCFB.  I've never had that happen.

 

56 WCFBs or WCFBs in general are kinda rare in my experience. I've only ever seen one other on ebay. Nothing local. It's a good carb, but it likes to stain my intake with fuel and by observation it gets less mpg than the 4gc. 

 

 

1 hour ago, old-tank said:

Behind or below the engine, inside the car?  Just need to rig a way to rotate and then 2 electrical connections and a vacuum source.;)

 

I have thought about a cable and pulley system, but the arm has to be the same lever ratio as whatever I put it on otherwise it'll over spin. I've been looking for a place to mount it but there's not much room behind the engine to hook something up. I did think about inside the car, but it's just a rod on the pedal. I could try adapting a kick down slider, but the pedal goes all the way to the floor so it would still need to be on the outside. On the end of the Edelbrock throttle shafts there's little keep screws. I did think about making a threaded extension with the ball bearing relief and fixing the body to it. Likewise, I also purchased a small lever switch from the electronics store with a roller end that rides perfectly on the throttle shaft secondary lockout cam on the choke cover side. It's just a matter of positioning and mounting it but I think it would work pretty good. 

 

I am now stuck between a rock and a hard place because this carb is phenomenal but the WCFB just makes it a Buick.. and I hate the push button. Still fighting the idle issue, too. No vacuum leaks, it's just really odd that it will run higher after a go but starting the car it's just a mess. I've never had that issue before and the throttle isn't binding. 

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

I hate the push button. 

Ok, then rig it so that it cranks as soon as the key is turned on and stops when it starts and vacuum is present.  A toggle switch to disable if you want the key on without cranking.

WCFB's are rare and expensive even for junk.  My throttle shafts don't slobber, but do have wear causing vacuum leaks...all I need is a throttle body section (2197S).  I don't have access to precision equipment to re-bush.

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Wow I didn't think about having it crank at the key. I could do it with my vacuum switch I've made already. It would be pretty simple, the two wires going to the carb switch are just wired to the vacuum switch only. I also thought about an oil pressure relay switch, too. The generator relay cutout should keep the switch safe in theory.. but at low vacuum there's no lockout like the throttle shaft turning and keeping the ball from falling at low vacuum. Maybe an oil pressure switch relay cutout as well? Grounded with no oil pressure but opens circuit with oil pressure like the generator charging. 

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Here's the intake by the way. I forgot to post it but yes it's on the car. No noticeable difference but I know it works because the experts say so (and I guess by default my fluids class, too). I know it doesn't look like it, but the heat track is plugged, too.

 

I put the WCFB back on because I got embarrassed at the parking lot today with long cranking feathering the pedal while leaning over to push the push button (it's by the heater controls under the dash). I think I can live with a lumpy idle and leaky throttle shafts for now.  I've just decided that i'm going to re sell the carb for a number of reasons, which includes holiday money. I don't want to fiddle around with something I'm not happy with. Granted this is my second time trying this but I just thought this time would be different. I've got my mind made up, if I try to adapt something to the stock manifold again it will be an efi kit. If I try to do dual quads again, I'll hunt for a 57 to 60 AFB or go efi if the tech gets there for the bigger distributors. 

20181218_144701.jpg

20181218_152524.jpg

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Beemom, you will not be sorry if you go EFI. I cannot say which is good or bad, or better than another. Probably all good and certainly work better with today's  gas, which is formulated to work under pressure.  And there is a fellow in Oregon that modifies distributors to work as an HEI.  Did mine. Guts the distributor, installs the magnet and reluctor.  Clean and neat.  Then mount the GM module anywhere you want. Mine is on the cowl.  Let the EFI control the timing.  As for me, NOT going back. 

 

  You and your "shop" class could probably do your distributor.

 

  Watching

  Ben

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Ben, I know you've been very happy with your EFI kit. Unfortunately I'm a long ways away. I've wanted to always do duals as my end goal with the eventuality of using a Cadillac air cleaner. It's also the only manifold that uses the AFB bolt pattern for the 322. I have also never found an adapter plate I've liked. The speedway adapters for the WCFB to AFB is junk as I've found out from modding. It's extremely porous and the casting is weak, one of the mounting tabs on mine broke clean off. The Edelbrock adapter is too tall and plays havoc on the throttle linkage, plus it needs some serious porting. It's only advantage is that it's cast aluminum and not whatever the speedway one is (it's not billet, that's for sure). I've heard the Offenhauser 5828a is the best adapter out there but Summit has it on back log for 6 months and it will require a dual plenum machine job. I don't think that the adapters are anything to look at, either.

 

I've heard Holley has been developing a dual quad EFI system but so far has yet to deliver. The FAST and FiTech systems have yet to interest me with their lack of features yet they are unfortunately the only systems that have dual support. 

 

For distributor, I will most likely go with the MSD with a rotor phased cap. It's a drop in unit and would mate up with the Holley Sniper's wiring harness. I have looked into conversions and they seem simple enough but I try to avoid permanent changes to hard to find parts (the intake was a pretty big stretch but I've wanted to do it for a while). 

 

The Holley Sniper by the way, by my own observation, is the best kit out there. I wish it had the bluetooth smart phone connectivity like the Edelbrock but I like the idea of not having to mount an ecu and it's extremely clean in person. Although, whichever comes first (Edelbrock or Holley) in terms of dual support is probably the route I'll take. In terms of fuel cell, I would use the Edelbrock sump just like the old Rochester FI from the late 50s.

 

Of course price is the main thing here. I am basically broke until graduation. Fortunately I have a job waiting for me right out the gate. But a dual setup using 57-60 Buick AFBs sounds pretty enticing, and affordable. The 364 would be roughly the same CFM range as the WCFB, retains the gas pedal start and parts are more available by observation than the WCFB in terms of rods and jets. Im not sure what year in that range Carter dialed in the AFB, but they used the 364 all the way up to 60 so they can't be all that different. 

 

In any case this is all just pipe dreaming for now. I wasn't expecting to have to go and find another engine last year and then do a full head job this year along with paint, plus other unexpected school costs so my plans for the car have been bumpy! 

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18 hours ago, Beemon said:

 

56 WCFBs or WCFBs in general are kinda rare in my experience. I've only ever seen one other on ebay. Nothing local. It's a good carb, but it likes to stain my intake with fuel and by observation it gets less mpg than the 4gc. 

 

 

 

I have thought about a cable and pulley system, but the arm has to be the same lever ratio as whatever I put it on otherwise it'll over spin. I've been looking for a place to mount it but there's not much room behind the engine to hook something up. On the end of the Edelbrock throttle shafts there's little keep screws. I did think about making a threaded extension with the ball bearing relief and fixing the body to it.

 

I am now stuck between a rock and a hard place because this carb is phenomenal but the WCFB just makes it a Buick.. and I hate the push button. 

Can you not drill and install bushings in your carb at the school machine shop?

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Just now, wndsofchng06 said:

Can you not drill and install bushings in your carb at the school machine shop?

 

You would need to setup a precision jig and have everything right the first time to do it correctly. It has to be 100% on point going in one end and out the other. I could most likely do it on the CNC or the Bridgeport but majority of the time, due to each individual skill level of the students going in, the machines can get really messed up in the shop. When going into the class, by observation, 90% of engineering students have never seen or heard of a mill and lathe. Pretty dumbfounding to me, but not really surprising since majority of engineering students by observation are strictly book smart with zero practical application. For instance, even after taking a thermodynamics class, my roommate still doesn't know how engines work despite taking the advanced classes and wants to work at Boeing. Last year, someone destroyed the 3D printer by playing with the settings and this year people have been breaking mill ends left and right. Someone even crashed the CNC lathe so it's extremely hit or miss how things go in the actual shop. The mill in the race car shop is already pretty inaccurate. I'm not sure who hit it but I would not consider it for anything other than crude jobs like coping tubes or doing an intake manifold job. 

 

Milling out the intake required zero precision to do. Because the base of the WCFB is aluminum, I would need to invest in some soft jaws. Then, I would need a block of aluminum to CNC for the jig to hold the throttle body by bolting it to the jig at a perfect 90 degree angle. Then, I would have to find a perfect pickup for the CNC head to start the bore operation with perfect measured precision on an X and Y plane. If at some point in the three part operation the CNC software messes up, I'm done and out a carb. 

 

I would rather send it to a professional carb restoration shop that, if they mess up, can spend their time searching for a replacement throttle body. The only issue is the service hits you with a $600 or more price tag depending on prestige. There's a local shop near me that says they can do it but they don't have a log book of previous jobs so I'm apprehensive to it. 

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If you get into industry, especially automotive, you'll find much the same.  Run the machines till they crash, patch em' and go till they crash again.  When things dont come out precise, ask engineering for variances...  And yet we wonder why there are so many TSBs and recalls. 😀

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10 minutes ago, Beemon said:

To be fair, I have seen the ebay special throttle shaft reamers. Really makes you think, once you look at it, how it's supposed to go into a hand held drill. 

 

 Perhaps because you are overthinking?

 

  Affordable Fuel Injection, which I have, includes an adapter, if needed. They "reman" original throttle bodys from the '90s and early 2000s. Now using OBD2  ECM's.  One advantage to this over OBD1, which I have, is it can mount under the hood. 

 

  Ben

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