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Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick


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Man, so sorry to read and see this! Fortunately you were not hurt! And it looks like, according to your list, you should be able to find/replace all of the parts! You are in severe need of some “good luck” with your car! Hang in there! Not what you had planned for spring break!

 

Gary

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Sounds like you have the right attitude to get it fixed...glad you're ok, and that's all that matters.  I live in a rural area and I've had some really really close calls with deer, but no hits yet.

 

Fortunately, they made 600 gazillion 56 Buicks, so hopefully parts won't be a huge issue.  Car has fresh paint so it shouldn't be too hard to match it. 

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x2!  Glad that considering the worst case scenario you are OK and the damage is relatively minor (though I know it doesn't feel that way).  On the bright side, given the age of the paint-job they should be able to give you a good color match...

Edited by EmTee (see edit history)
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Getting a check from the insurance company may be the worst part of this ordeal, or may I say getting an appropriate check.  With regular car insurance I am afraid they will likely consider the car a total loss as they will not want to consider the cars value as a collector vehicle regardless of the fact that it is a solid western car, as evidenced by the limited damage. Is the hood really unsalvageable?   The key here may be to reduce the list of parts needed and to have a price range for those absolutely needed, in order to get better than salvage value. 

All this assumes you have regular car insurance, and not collectors insurance like Hagerty for instance. 

Wish I had some of those parts to give to you!  

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36 minutes ago, 1956322 said:

Probably not the most important thing at this point but did you ever figure out the shuddering you were feeling?? Glad you're ok and the car is mostly ok

 

No I didn't, but as John said, the car is most likely going to be considered a total loss so it probably won't matter anyways. 

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Gracious...Matt and now you.  Well, looking over your pictures, it is definitely fixable and it could be worse.  I am sure you are already aware of that.  Could have been worse for you as well...thank God you are okay.  I guess now this adds another chapter to this novel.  I will be checking in.  Take care Ben.

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As for tire chains I used them infrequently but I never got stuck in snow.  All of the family cars that we had up until maybe 1960 had a box of "Monkey Linksin the glove box to repair broken chains. Just remembered that I have a pair of chains sitting in oil under the cellar stairs. They were used on my old '37 Buick in the 1960's so they may just fit on my current '37! Or maybe the Jeep Wrangler!

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Crap. That sucks. Not uncommon out here in Eastern WA. I have had a bunch of near misses this year.

 

I can tell by looking the damage isn't that bad. Don't let the insurance bully you. If at all possible get them to pay you for the damage so that the title never changes hands (instead of buying it back). Whatever happens, its your car, not theirs. I would start fixing just as soon as the insurance adjuster is done looking.

 

Whatever you do, make it drivable soon even if it isn't pretty. Don't fall into the trap of having to put it back perfect if the money isn't there. Maybe the fender wont match. Maybe it will be pink or something. Don't worry about it. Get it back on the road.

 

 

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Pushing (or pulling) on the dent in the exact opposite direction it was hit will make a lot of it come out. The closer you can get to exactly reversing the force that made the dent, the more will come out. It may be worth doing before disassembly if parts underneath are bent. Hopefully someone in the forum will have parts. If not, CTC auto ranch in Texas (I have never dealt with them, so no experience there) is showing this Century parts car. LF fender looks good.

 

http://www.ctcautoranch.com/Parts Cars/Buick/1958 and Back/1958 and Back/1956 Buick Century Parts Car 2/1956 Buick Century Parts Car 2.html

 

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10 minutes ago, Bloo said:

this Century parts car.

 

Sweet Biscuits, that parts car has no engine or front tires and it's still going 100 mph!!!  

But besides that, it's a factory air car too!  With most AC parts still on it.  Even the J bars look salvageable! 

 

Those Texas guys have all the luck! 

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Thanks for the heads up, Bloo. I might take more than what I need off that thing...

 

Seriously guys, the car is not going anywhere. I've been going from local shop to local shop trying to get an insurance adjuster quote and damage and repair and so far it's been looking expensive.

 

I went down to Vancouver today to scout parts. They had 2 Century's and 2 Specials. All the parts are there, but they are rough. I am still waiting to hear back from L&L Classics and I've been in contact with Desert Valley Auto Parts, too. At Vancouver, they want $960 and that's including a solid, dented fender and a moderately weak hood. DVAP wants $1575 for their parts. There is absolutely nothing local to me on the regular outlets (craigslist, offer up, etc.).

 

Unrelated, I found this stainless steel A-pillar piece on the white Century 4-door hard top. Does anyone know if this was a retrofit thing?

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Also, I found out that my grandfather had hit someone in the 60s and had gotten rear ended by someone at some point, too. Minor fender benders I guess. Whenever I asked him about why the front grill was broken, he always said it must have been my grandmother. Lol

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17 minutes ago, Beemon said:

Unrelated, I found this stainless steel A-pillar piece on the white Century 4-door hard top. Does anyone know if this was a retrofit thing?

That's the way it was done on 4 door hardtops, vs the pot metal of 2 door hardtops and convertibles

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19 minutes ago, old-tank said:

That's the way it was done on 4 door hardtops, vs the pot metal of 2 door hardtops and convertibles

And they probably cannot be used in the 2 door hardtop, huh. I wonder why the difference? 

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22 minutes ago, Beemon said:

And they probably cannot be used in the 2 door hardtop, huh. I wonder why the difference? 

Right. The potmetal on the 2dr can be completely unbolted and removed.  IIRC on the 4dr hardtop, the frame that the stainless screws to is part of the door. 

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3 hours ago, Beemon said:

Wow, I would definitely prefer that. I hate pot metal and the pieces I have do not tuck behind the window on one side. 

You would need a 4 door hardtop donor door and complete  vent assembly.  Both doors would need to be cut open and transferred parts welded in.  I looked long and hard at doing a conversion when I priced the restoration and chrome on the pot metal vent assembly.

Easier to buy a 4 door hardtop.:D

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The car is sitting for now while I try to figure out what to do. Spring break is over so I'm back at school and won't be back to mess with it until memorial weekend. I did land a job as a lean engineer intern over the summer so I'm thinking about putting the parts on the card and paying it back over the summer. 

 

I got a chance to fly out Saturday to Desert Valley. The only century in their public yard was toast but there were two more in a private yard that I got pictures of from the owner. It looks like that will be the way to go for solid parts. It does look like this weekend I'll be going to L&L in Idaho at my mother's request so we'll see what's out there. 

 

I still have not contacted the insurance company. After I get this third quote, I'll be forwarding to the company that would be doing the "repairs" for a final estimate.

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I must have bumped or damaged the brake light switch because it stopped working. I went to go pick up a new one,  part number SL169 from NAPA. Unlike the previous switch, this one has an intermediate section where it makes contact when not fully compressed, which made adjustment very easy! The switch plug is not sold anymore, so I went to the junkyard to get one. It was used from the mid 60s to the early 90s so they are really easy to find. The original terminals for the two pin pressure switch are the same for this switch so it was just a matter of pushing out the old clipped wires and sticking the original ones into the plug - no crimping new wires involved. Lastly, because of the intermediate switch, I was able to move the switch up to basically the highest point on the pedal, so now it's further out of the way. With an OEM plug, it also looks a lot cleaner. Unfortunately with the U- bolts, it still looks goofy but you'd never see it unless you went looking. 

 

The third image is the wear spot where the first switch was. 

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Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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6 minutes ago, 1956322 said:

Hoping I can still use this set up when I do the master conversion.. Might have to go back to a pressure switch depending on pedal geometry.. We'll see

 

The pressure switch only works when you apply your foot, but as soon as you let go, the light goes off. I know this sounds trivial, but if you ride the brake to a certain degree and move your foot on and off the pedal a lot, it won't work as intended. The whole reason I did this swap is because those hydraulic pressure switches are no good. They work, sure, but they don't work as intended. With this switch I can be riding the pedal and as long as my foot is on it, regardless of what I'm doing, the light comes on. There's a reason why the OEM switched to buttons and stopped using hydraulic switches. 

 

Are you talking about the Ebay kit where it replaces the air box plenum? It looks like a pretty good kit, but I see no reason to make the swap if the original master cylinder works just fine. It is no safer than a newer setup, speaking from experience! His AC kit on the other hand? I've been wanting to get my hands on that for a while..

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Oh I'm not a fan of the pressure switches they require to much pressure.. Yes that's the kit.. Went that route cause the original set up really isn't designed for front disk and my power booster has seen better days anyways...I did find a pressure switch online "designed for disc brakes" they claim it requires half the pressure 45 vs 90

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3 years have gone by since on the road. Hard to imagine that it's only been 3 years with all the crap I've had to endure with this car.

 

Today I went to have the title issued with new registration, the car is officially mine. Tomorrow I get to meet with the insurance company. 

 

Parts total: $1600

Shipping: $400

Paint: $900

 

That's not too bad, but I did find out from my mother that the insurance plan is not classic car insurance and there is no agreed upon value despite being told there was. So we'll see what happens.

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You'll be handed three options.. Total it out.. They take car and give you a check.. Total it out and buy it back you keep car and get a slightly smaller check and may or may not get a salvage title or option three you decline everything and keep the car and clean title but get nothing...

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Honestly I've been through this with a different classic.. It's almost always best to do the buy back.. You get to keep the car and get a decent check to do what you please with.. The downside is you may or may not get a salvage title.. In the state I was living in at the time because it was an older car they didn't touch the title but I don't know the rules in Washington

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Today was a rather pleasant day, and my luck has finally turned around. The car was valued in its current condition (special thanks to paint!) at $12000, and the damage appraised was $3700, about 31% of the total damages. Which means I was cut a check for $3200 after the deductible, $300 above what I was quoted for including parts, shipping and paint. I guess I shouldn't be too terrified of the insurance company, they really pulled through on this one! The best part is that I was looking to replace the hood, grill and mustache bar at some point because all of them had been damaged prior, and now I get them for free (well subjectively, RIP insurance premium). Thank you Mr. Deer, rest your soul.

 

I drove the car back to campus. Running as good as ever. I'm getting a lot of "oh my god your car!" Thanks, like I didn't know lol. I am pretty sure I know what the vibration is now. It really shakes the wheel, so I guessed it must be in the front and not the back. So, I pulled the rotors off to check bearings and they are fine. That's when I noticed the driver side rotor is warped noticeably. It must be such that it is rubbing the pads when not depressed and causing a harmonic issue at speed. I had a similar issue when one of my front drums were warped. We'll see when I replace the rotors first. My final test is to get the car off the ground while in drive (off) and rotate the rear wheels. Theoretically if the U-joint is toast, there should be play in the driveline.

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)
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I've finally got all my eggs in one basket for this. This is the mockup prototype flange to adapt the 99-04 Jeep Cherokee box. I'll most likely laser cut the test piece using card stock to make sure it bolts up correctly. Once I have the dimensions correct, I'll 3D print the piece and then move on to plasma cutting the flange and doing the necessary busy work.

 

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5 hours ago, Beemon said:

I've finally got all my eggs in one basket for this. This is the mockup prototype flange to adapt the 99-04 Jeep Cherokee box. I'll most likely laser cut the test piece using card stock to make sure it bolts up correctly. Once I have the dimensions correct, I'll 3D print the piece and then move on to plasma cutting the flange and doing the necessary busy work.

 

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 Ben, guess I have been asleep. Adapt what box?

  Happy for the insurance settlement.

 

  Ben

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6 hours ago, Beemon said:

I've finally got all my eggs in one basket for this. This is the mockup prototype flange to adapt the 99-04 Jeep Cherokee box. I'll most likely laser cut the test piece using card stock to make sure it bolts up correctly. Once I have the dimensions correct, I'll 3D print the piece and then move on to plasma cutting the flange and doing the necessary busy work.

 

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Will there be at least one original bolt shared between the frame and both steering gears?

 

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8 hours ago, Beemon said:

Today was a rather pleasant day, and my luck has finally turned around.

 

What good news!  Reaffirms my faith in insurance companies, or at least some of them.  Now that the title is in your name I hope you can find it affordable to stick with that company, and would like to know the insurance company information.  Seems like a good one to try and get, if possible.      

 

 

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4 hours ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

 

 Ben, guess I have been asleep. Adapt what box?

  Happy for the insurance settlement.

 

  Ben

 

Ben, thanks for the kind words! My "rebuilt" steering box has 120 degrees of play in it, so I am adapting a different steering box.

 

3 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

 

Will there be at least one original bolt shared between the frame and both steering gears?

 

 

Yes, should make for easy mounting. 

 

3 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

 

What good news!  Reaffirms my faith in insurance companies, or at least some of them.  Now that the title is in your name I hope you can find it affordable to stick with that company, and would like to know the insurance company information.  Seems like a good one to try and get, if possible.      

 

It's just old state farm, nothing really special. The guy was really nice, he worked with me to make sure it was 100% accurate and he submitted the invoice for damages and then I got paid on the spot. I did come with price quotes ahead of time for all the parts I would be needing, and I think that helped a lot. 

 

33 minutes ago, 1956322 said:

You'll be a lot of peoples hero if you can pull off an affordable and quality adapter... How was his pitman arm quality.. Guessing the same??

 

I did not get the pitman arm,  but considering how the adapter looked, I don't think I'd want to use it either. I don't have the capability to manufacture these but if I can make an engineering drawing for people to look at and get the bolt pattern from, that would probably be enough. If I do a small run, I'd have to outsource through a different company and probably wouldn't have control over the price. 

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I have been waiting some years for something like this to show up on the market. A reliable dual quad system to sit on top of the AFB intake manifold that doesn't require mounting an ECU. Once I get this mess sorted out with the insurance company. looks like I'll need to invest in an MSD distributor, a clean alternator installation, and finalize the starter switch (didn't think about this before, but why not TWO brake light switches in parallel, one for lights and the other for the starter, grounded through an oil pressure switch??) This is actually really exciting, I'm hoping to see other manufacturers follow.

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