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Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick


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@BeemonLikely the lead in the steering column is shorting at the button under the horn ring.  

 

Do you have any of that liquid wire insulation?  My good mechanic friend suggested that stuff to me.  It is available at the hardware stores.  It's not cheap but if you only need a little to fix the wire at the end by the steering wheel, you may find that to be easier than pulling and disassembling the column. 

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Sorry John, it wasn't that easy...

 

Pulling the column from the car was actually pretty easy and straight forward. I removed the firewall bulkhead, unplugged the three connectors from the fuse panel and unbolted the gearbox and linkage. Once the column was dropped to clear the mounting bracket, I rotated 90* clockwise to clear the linkage arm and it was out. Then I took the steering wheel off again, unbolted the collar at the base of the column and pulled... the shaft came right out. My horn ring wasn't even attached to the wire anymore and it had been oblonged. Per Willie's website, I purchased a copper pipe fitting (1" to 3/4") and its the perfect size. That's where im at right now. I noticed that the original brass collar was only radiased on one side so im going to crimp the other side once I get it cut down.. the horn wire looks salvageable but still yet to be determined. 

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Steering column is back in! Plugged in the horn wire and... nothing! Everything is as it should be. Followed the shop manual instructions, tighten until horn then back off a quarter turn. The copper sleeve is much longer and thicker than the original. I soldered the wire to the inside of the collar, then used shrink wrap at the base. I then moved the insulator down the shaft, followed by the collar, then fed the wire and soldered to the top. I also adjusted my neutral safety switch while it was out so reverse will activate my lights with out having to hold down the lever. All in all, very happy. Now I can go retrieve the title and honk my horn at inspection with pride (it's been three years since my lost tile papers were filed). 

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7 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

Love a happy ending.  One question, if I may.  In the last picture, regarding the round hole, is that where the light bulb is for the shift position designator on the column?  

 

 

Yes it is! It was very dirty so I cleaned the chrome reflector out on the inside. I didn't think it was important so I did not take pictures, sorry John. 

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I finally bit the bullet on this after confirming the junkyard steering box was just as worn in (not as bad as mine but a good 90* of rotation). To say i'm disappointed is a small understatement. 

 

The plate seems to be made on a laser cutter, but one flange is off center from the countersunk hole. The welds are incomplete and there's burrs all over it. For a $500 kit, i'd expect the burrs to be ground down at the very least. And, knowing that it was cut by a cutter, that the ears should line up perfectly every time. Unfortunately I don't have much of a choice. The plasma and water jet cutters have been down for some time now at school (someone crashed the plasma cutter and the water jet nozzle was plugged last I heard). So im going to de-burr it and use it as is and hopefully it works out. Still waiting on a part that's out for delivery. 

 

Bottom line, stay away from this kit if you're expecting a quality product. 

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42 minutes ago, Beemon said:

 

 

Yes it is! It was very dirty so I cleaned the chrome reflector out on the inside. I didn't think it was important so I did not take pictures, sorry John. 

 

Thanks. I haven't had to replace that bulb yet.  And I often wondered where it was.  Thank for the tip on the chrome reflector too!  

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1 hour ago, 1956322 said:

What are you thoughts after living with the disc brakes for a bit?

 

They've worked better than when my drums were set up best in the past year, even with auto adjusters.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/22/2019 at 10:20 PM, Beemon said:

It wasn't supposed to snow today... at least the forecast I read.

 

50801812_10158038770060830_3227574000599

 

Wasn't there a commercial of some kind that said, "Ya, It's kinda like that".

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went out to start the car today and it didn't want to fire. When I did get it start, it ran until it died out. After getting it to fire off again, it back fired and the air horn caught fire (I couldn't see it, but you know the smell and sound of fire in the carb). It did this twice before I could get it started again. I'm starting to think I have a bad condenser instead of a bad U-joint...

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I would also check the side-to-side play on the distributor shaft.  Pull the cap and try to wiggle it.  If there is slop, the dwell will be all over the place...and is mostly noticeable when the engine is under load.

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The dwell does climb on deceleration, but I knew that already. I'm pretty sure that is a worn timing chain. The distributor itself is bulletproof, I rebuilt it myself after I pulled it from a 65 Riviera and checked it with a dial indicator for runout on the shaft. I also shimmed it at the bottom so it only has about .012" end play.

 

I'll double check the advance wire. I'm running an Accel dual point breaker plate with NAPA HD points, so maybe the lead wire is not where its supposed to be. I've just never had issues until now. The reason I suspected the condenser is because it's a Mallory. I'm starting to wonder if they're junk...

 

I'll also recheck the dwell, too. One of the benefits of finding a Corvette dual window cap is that I don't need a distributor machine to balance the dwell, just a match book.

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  • 2 weeks later...
3 hours ago, Beemon said:

No sir, there's more than a foot of snow on the ground. 

 

Is that normal for where you are at Ben?

We had family friends that lived near Seattle. They kept a boat in the water at a marina years ago and it snowed once that collapsed the frames holding the canvas. They said that it was a historic event for them.

Are we dealing with changing weather patterns?

Just curious.

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Without getting political, the north pole is migrating into Siberia so you should expect to see Atlantic temperatures to rise and Pacific temperatures to fall marginally. This is what caused the polar vortex to split, not global warming or whatever the red herring is these days.

 

I think this is normal for my region, but it hasn't be recorded for some several years now so it was expected, but unexpected. It is manageable, the problem is that there is zero maintenance done in the parking lots. So while the roadways are bare and wet, nothing but chains will get me out of the parking lots... so I wait.

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Gobs of snow are normal in eastern Washington. The current weather patterns though? Not normal at all. We just had several storms totaling about three feet in February, after a virtually snowless winter, and walking around in shortsleeves in January. 

 

The Cascade mountains are responsible for the dramatic differences in climate between the eastern and western parts of the state.

 

Seattle, and the western part of the state is a temperate climate and wet. They got a huge dose of snow this year, and it stuck around. That is not normal at all for western Washington.

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Hey beemon maybe I missed something but where did you get that steering kit from the only one I can find is on eBay and last I checked he won't sale the brackets by themselves... What box did you end up using?? The one on eBay uses a late 90s jeep box

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On 3/1/2019 at 8:35 AM, 1956322 said:

Hey beemon maybe I missed something but where did you get that steering kit from the only one I can find is on eBay and last I checked he won't sale the brackets by themselves... What box did you end up using?? The one on eBay uses a late 90s jeep box

 

I just ended up buying the kit. I wouldn't bother personally, I posted pictures above and the bracket is awful. He wouldn't sell just the bracket, so I had to get the box, too. It came several weeks later and its from my favorite rebuilder. 🤢 So I think you would probably be better off buying an OEM junkyard model. I plan on making a bracket and saving it as a DXF file to share here on the forums so anyone with a CNC plasma cutter can make one.

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Ah gotcha I was just curious but yeah for the price he's charging and what you posted I'm in no rush to get it..I did finally order the master cylinder conversion off eBay.. Came in the mail yesterday.. Actually seems really nice but it'll be a month or so before I have vacation time to put it in

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Oh! Forgot to ask.. Does that box bolt right up to the steering rag joint or??? I don't understand why the kit comes with that u joint but then he shows pictures of it bolted to the factory rag joint

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2 minutes ago, 1956322 said:

Oh! Forgot to ask.. Does that box bolt right up to the steering rag joint or??? I don't understand why the kit comes with that u joint but then he shows pictures of it bolted to the factory rag joint

 

No, you need to buy a rag joint conversion for it to work. I'll get you part numbers when I put it together over spring break, hopefully

 

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Oh! Forgot to ask.. Does that box bolt right up to the steering rag joint or??? I don't understand why the kit comes with that u joint but then he shows pictures of it bolted to the factory rag joint

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There was nothing to it (except laying on my back in the snow for an hour and a half trying to figure this stupid "easy install" chain link). The good ladder chains are at home and way too expensive to ship, so once I'm back for spring break, I'll definitely be using my big boy chains and not this baby chain stuff.

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11 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

I cannot remember the last time I saw chains on a passenger car

 

 

Studded snow tires are expensive!

 

Here's some more:

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This was the spot I got into last night

 

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This is the spot I just got in to. As you can see, some people still haven't left their spots (yellow car on the left) because it just gets piled up behind them to the point where you need a shovel, a pick axe and some good tires.

 

I can't remember seeing people use chains, either, in my entire life. However, I did see someone else on campus with chains so I didn't feel alone. I'm sure if the car had a posi, I could have gotten out. One tire would grip, the other wouldn't. Then, when I had chains on one tire, that tire did nothing and the tire without chains would spin... It was a vicious cycle.

 

The other night it was -8, I was glad to see that there wasn't a pool of anti-freeze underneath the car. That would have been rough.

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Too bad you didn't have the Jeep there at this point!   But I hope it all melts soon.  If nothing else I hope all that West Coast storm activity has done something to alleviate the persistent droughts.

 

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Well, I was looking to replace the front grill pieces since they had been broken either from an unspoken parking lot fender bender or car port abuse. I guess now is as good as any time to do it.

 

I was coming home from the university last night and was traveling around 65-70 MPH on Highway 26. About 10 miles outside of the town of Washtucna, this ample sized doe jumped down off of an embankment and right into the front of the car. I am pretty sure the deer did not suffer, and the death was instantaneous. When I found it over the ledge along the highway, all that was left of it was four legs and a head. All the damage seems to be cosmetic and I did not puncture the radiator. 

 

In this scenario, there was nothing I could have done. I've been in a few of these situations before, so I did not apply the brakes until after the deed was done (not that I would have time to), and thankfully I did not swerve to miss as I think that would have assured the destruction of the car and myself, given the state of the steering box (thanks LC). This all happened probably around 7:30 PM. That's usually the "witching hour" for active nocturnal animals this time of year.

 

After contacting Washington State Patrol, they told me on record to continue on if I felt the car could make it and to keep a look out for any dangerous, erratic behavior from the car. I eventually made it to Othello, where I collected my thoughts and removed the front fender spear. Thankfully, it was not broken and did not deform from the collision - about the only good thing in the aftermath. I carried on all the way home. This car has always given me more than 100%. Destroyed cylinder walls, , punctured radiators, bad steering box and pump, three generators, a starter failure, brake failure and so much more. I've come too far to let these setbacks hinder my enjoyment and plan to fully bring the car back.

 

That being said, I am meeting with the insurance company later today to appraise the damage and cost of repairs, as well as finalizing the state patrol report. Once I know exactly how much I'll be getting back, I'm going to use my credit card for the bulk purchase and pay it off when the check arrives (if I even get one). The optimist in me says I can get back on the road by the end of the week if I structure my time on break. Right now, this is the itemized list of things I need moving forward:

  • Driver side Century fender
  • Century/Special Hood
  • 'Grill
  • Grill Emblem
  • Mustache
  • Bumper Bib (that part that goes on the bottom of the radiator core support and acts as a loose seal between the bumper and the radiator on the bottom)
  • Hood latch support
  • Driver side inner fender
  • Headlight Bezel

The metal is so mangled that I do not think it can be pulled. I have seen amazing work done on these forums, but the fact of the matter is that I do not have the space, time, tools or the money to invest in an operation to fix these parts myself.

 

I can't imagine what it would have been like to have been in a modern car. 

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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