Beemon

Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick

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This past weekend I fixed two minor issues:

 

I finally got my rebuilt rocker arms so I took my used ones off and swapped them over. No strange noises, everything seems to be as it should. Re-torqued the head bolts, most of them were still tight so that's a good sign. I don't think I'll need to have to re-torque them again any time soon.

 

I found a few craigslist generators, but I did not want to risk having to go through another failure. A new armature was just about as expensive as a new, rebuilt unit so I ordered one and it finally came in. To my surprise, the pulleys were the right size as the original so I didn't have to play with the pulleys at all. Working as it should and the engine compartment looks clean again. If/when this one fails, I will for sure be going to a Powergen. Here's hoping it lasts longer than a year, unlike my last two "new, rebuilt" units. Though not sure what I expected there to be completely honest, they were rebuilt by the same people that rebuilt my starter that grenaded.

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There's no noticeable difference between new and original rockers other than the placebo piece of mind. I have noticed that they are quieter, however, but that's probably due to bushed shafts versus a good worn shaft. 

 

No more hot issues. Only really gets hot at the drive thru and the gauge reads 190-200. Otherwise, a solid 160 around town. 

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12 minutes ago, Beemon said:

 

 

No more hot issues. Only really gets hot at the drive thru and the gauge reads 190-200. Otherwise, a solid 160 around town. 

 

 

  160 is way too cold. I actually run a 195 thermostat in my '50.

 

  Ben

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36 minutes ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:
50 minutes ago, Beemon said:

 

 

No more hot issues. Only really gets hot at the drive thru and the gauge reads 190-200. Otherwise, a solid 160 around town. 

 

 

  160 is way too cold. I actually run a 195 thermostat in my '50

A reading of 160 is about right with a 180 thermostat on a 322 if the temp sensor is at the back of the cylinder head (usual spot drivers rear).  The reading would be about 180 if using the front.  (verified with infrared temperature gun).

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The temp sender is in the passenger side head, so its at the front reading 160. I agree its too cold and want to have it swapped back to a 180 stat, especially with the onset of winter weather here in the next month or two. Now that the cooling system is running right, there's no reason to fear another overheat.. I hope. I still think I would benefit from a 6 blade fan, clutch or not. Now that I know the real reason was the radiator and not the fan, it all kind of makes sense why the fan didn't kick on. However, when checking the head unit it didn't seem to engage the clutch with the hair dryer. Who knows.

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I'm not so sure 160 is to cold as that's what the factory service manual calls for

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My 54 runs much happier with a 180 thermostat.  Smoother and quieter.  80K miles on an original engine, never overheated, even with the factory AC on.

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My girl paid me a surprise visit this weekend. We went up to Steptoe Butte to watch the sunset last night since she's never been. The smoke isn't too bad right now, but it was thick enough on the horizon to make the sun watchable. Right before it hit the horizon, it went from orange to an almost blood red and there was a visible corona around the sun. 

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Always sad to see her go. One last photo before she left. What, I'm talking about the Pontiac of course! 

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Yesterday I got fan mail. Someone (presumebly femaile because their I's and J's were dotted with hearts) left a note under the windshield wiper. Naturally, I thought I had been ticketed so it was a not so welcome but also welcome surprise. It said the car was gorgeous and wrote have a great day, sending smiles. Made me feel pretty good about myself. Before no one had given a care to the car, now that its painted its worth something to other people. A phone number would have been nice, too, but alas no such luck.

 

Yesterday was also the day of the school's big car show they host in the basketball coliseum. I don't know why, but the washer jar is always the talking point. I guess these kids have never seen the washer reservoir on the fender/firewall? Even growing up in the early 90s and "helping" my dad work on the family vehicles, the washer reservoir was always there. Now its hidden away from view, somewhere in the fender. Maybe because its glass?

42346156_10155783348037113_1610421429566

 

The other picture of the engine bay I guess was to show off the valve cover? (I didn't snap these photos)

42305848_10155783345717113_1128680262511

 

And then I got the old/worn treatment, too.

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42363064_10155783333142113_9183338612329

 

Overall, though, it was a pretty interesting show. Definitely not worth the $45 to enter and then have to sit around for 6 hours without escape.I really want to paint the hood latch and radiator support, since they do stick out like a sore thumb. I probably should have painted my exhaust manifolds, too, but I was short on time. Regardless, my car is definitely a driver and I plan to keep it that way.

 

About the 4GC, I hate it. I wish I had brought the WCFB to tinker with like I had last year. I'm planning on driving home soon to get it, it is that bad. Yes, the 4GC is the best running carburetor I have, but when I say "look what I can do" and kill the engine with the accelerator pedal on purpose, it just goes to show how bad this carb is.

 

I'm hoping to go with my dual quad intake, but then what would I do for an air cleaner?

 

Speaking of air cleaners, I think its time to purge the oil. The fires are hopefully over (can see the moon at night as white and not orange).

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How do you kill the engine on purpose using the accelerator petal?

 

You can easily fabricate a dual quad air cleaner by modifying one of the repro Ford units. The big oval air cleaner has been reproduced three ways: (A) bottom punched for Ford 2x4, (B) bottom punched for Ford 3x2, (C) bottom not punched.

 

Jon

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1 hour ago, carbking said:

How do you kill the engine on purpose using the accelerator petal?

 

Jon

 

Jon, on flat ground from dead stop, if I give more than quarter throttle abruptly it will die. It has always done this. I replaced it originally with a WCFB I rebuilt, but the throttle shafts on it were so worn I could never get the idle set properly so I put this 4GC back on. The cast iron body and the shaft aren't even worn at all. Phenomenal carb other than the off idle bog. I rebuilt it with your kit so the accelerator pump is new, and working. If I set the carb super rich it almost goes away but then i'm wasting gas. And yes I know, open idle circuits .002. Don't have the tools or steady hands to attempt it. 

 

I'm sure this was a superb carb 60 years ago, but it isn't anymore. 

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Ben - the idle tubes are very easy to modify, albeit somewhat expensive for doing it the first time, because of the initial cost of the tools. You will need:

 

(A) drill set of numbered drills #61~80

(B) pin vise

 

I just checked the MSC website. They have several sets of 61~80 drills from about $30. to well over $100. for the set. A couple of sets around $45. which would be good.

 

They also have a number of pin vises in the $10 ~ $15. range. Get one of the hand-held pin vises.

 

Use the number drills to find the current value of the idle tubes (guessing about 0.032). Whatever it is, just add 0.002, find the appropriate bit, and using the hand held pin vise, ream out both idle tubes.

 

This will require resetting the idle mixture control screws. You will now have a richer mixture, as opposed to a larger quantity of a leaner mixture.

 

The 4-GC is STILL a wonderful carburetor. But it does need to be re-calibrated for todays fuel. 

 

If you do not wish to purchase the tools, maybe you have a friend in the gas furnace business. The most common use for these drills is when converting a furnace from propane to natural gas.

 

Jon.

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Ben - one other thing that comes to mind. I am assuming you still have points/condenser in this car. We have had dozens, perhaps hundreds - I have completely lost count, of customers with issues like this when using a certain points replacement module. Often, re-installing points and condenser (new old stock, NOT new off-shore!) solves the issue.

 

If you are using that conversion, an alternator is mandatory.

 

Jon.

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48 minutes ago, carbking said:

Ben - one other thing that comes to mind. I am assuming you still have points/condenser in this car. We have had dozens, perhaps hundreds - I have completely lost count, of customers with issues like this when using a certain points replacement module. Often, re-installing points and condenser (new old stock, NOT new off-shore!) solves the issue.

 

If you are using that conversion, an alternator is mandatory.

 

Jon.

 

Jon, I learned my lesson not once but three times. I am currently running a late nailhead distributor with an Accel dual point conversion breaker plate. My ignition is bullet proof right now and I don't planon going back to electric conversion any time soon. 

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22 hours ago, Beemon said:

Yesterday I got fan mail. Someone (presumebly femaile because their I's and J's were dotted with hearts) left a note under the windshield wiper. Naturally, I thought I had been ticketed so it was a not so welcome but also welcome surprise. It said the car was gorgeous and wrote have a great day, sending smiles. Made me feel pretty good about myself. Before no one had given a care to the car, now that its painted its worth something to other people. A phone number would have been nice, too, but alas no such luck.

 

Yesterday was also the day of the school's big car show they host in the basketball coliseum. I don't know why, but the washer jar is always the talking point. I guess these kids have never seen the washer reservoir on the fender/firewall? Even growing up in the early 90s and "helping" my dad work on the family vehicles, the washer reservoir was always there. Now its hidden away from view, somewhere in the fender. Maybe because its glass?

42346156_10155783348037113_1610421429566

 

The other picture of the engine bay I guess was to show off the valve cover? (I didn't snap these photos)

42305848_10155783345717113_1128680262511

 

And then I got the old/worn treatment, too.

42352638_10155783346997113_9262442160345

 

42363064_10155783333142113_9183338612329

 

Overall, though, it was a pretty interesting show. Definitely not worth the $45 to enter and then have to sit around for 6 hours without escape.I really want to paint the hood latch and radiator support, since they do stick out like a sore thumb. I probably should have painted my exhaust manifolds, too, but I was short on time. Regardless, my car is definitely a driver and I plan to keep it that way.

 

About the 4GC, I hate it. I wish I had brought the WCFB to tinker with like I had last year. I'm planning on driving home soon to get it, it is that bad. Yes, the 4GC is the best running carburetor I have, but when I say "look what I can do" and kill the engine with the accelerator pedal on purpose, it just goes to show how bad this carb is.

 

I'm hoping to go with my dual quad intake, but then what would I do for an air cleaner?

 

Speaking of air cleaners, I think its time to purge the oil. The fires are hopefully over (can see the moon at night as white and not orange).

20170208_160128.thumb.jpg.d59aaf591b54faa92e9a6ae13ec7942c.jpg

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Let me just pull another $1600 from my pocket book... lol

 

The batwing is my absolute first pick. They're just super pricey. Speaking of, have you mocked yours up Greg? Interested to see how the play with the valve covers.

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10 hours ago, Beemon said:

Let me just pull another $1600 from my pocket book... lol

 

The batwing is my absolute first pick. They're just super pricey. Speaking of, have you mocked yours up Greg? Interested to see how the play with the valve covers.

Still in the box, but was lucky to pay less than half of that figure. Busy summer of home maintenence and repair, not just on my place. Oldest bought a house, so now I have 2 Im charged with fixing! I did measure the centerline distance between carb bases on my Weiand 2x4 intake and they match the air cleaner holes, so I think Im good on fit. Theres a 54 Roadie vert in the area running this setup and I was able to do just a visual assess. Didnt see any mods cuz of interference of parts. Trying to get the '55 and the '41 at least to "yard driver" status. Keep up the great work! Enjoy reading your posts as you progress. Greg

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No Buick this week.

 

I drove home this weekend because I am to attend a wedding this up coming weekend and wanted to make sure I had appropriate attire. The steering is getting pretty bad. 120 degrees of play. I'd send back but I don't have a spare or want to pay for shipping for a part that should have been done right. Regardless, the car is pretty unsafe at this point. Going home was okay until I got to I90 and the highway split into 3 lanes going over the pass. No rain going home, but taking corners, hitting a bump and having to recenter is a bit unsettling. I'm assuming it's the ball bearings, because it has 120 degrees of play before it engages the pinion gear.

 

 

This is the video I took 2 years ago after getting the box back from the rebuilder.

 

So I'm thinking about different ways to go about this. A rack and pinion system is a no go. I could mount it where the drag link is, but the A-arms are too big, the rack would have to be tiny! The most plausible option is a Jeep steering box, as I've contemplated in the past. Or go the route I believe it was VickyBlue, where a CPP box was used - however I need to find a 55 parts car (easy) and pull the pitman arm. There's a kit on Ebay right now for the Jeep box, but I really only want the box and the and the mounting bracket. Also these boxes use a universal joint and no rag joint.

 

Anyways, the steering is not the reason why I left it home, though I am glad because it was raining on the pass when I came back. If I want to come home for the holidays, there is no way in Hell would I every drive that Buick across Snoqualmie Pass. I almost didn't make it without chains and in 4-wheel drive. There are just too many idiots, and with one-wheel fire, I would have to do the 9 hour trek through the canyon, hop on I5 and come through Olympia. So, I went home to check on the Jeep. I was told it was being driven weekly... found it with a dead battery and a flat tire! This week, I drove it back over after replacing the battery and having the nail removed just to make sure everything is as it should. The valve cover needs to be re-torqued since it's dripping on the driver side catalytic converter, an unfortunate stench after first fire up. It really needs a comprehensive fluid change on all 5 components of the drivetrain. There's also a groaning noise that's apparent on acceleration from a dead stop, what I can only assume to be a 16 year old transmission with worn clutch pads. The steering rack also clicks at full lock, and I noticed the power steering fluid was low. For a Daimler-Chrysler, it's in pretty decent shape. Regardless, it made it from Kent to Pullman on one tank of gas. Seems to be getting around 20mpg or thereabouts, which isn't bad given the age and make. I'll be swapping cars next weekend again and won't trade off again until Thanksgiving break.

 

Back to the Buick. The ME 311 shop teacher is back from medical leave. Because I am a lead this year on the Formula team, I was going to take advantage of shop access and potentially talk about milling out the divider on the intake manifolds between the front and rear carb runners. I've done the math! Since the carb bores on the early 4GCs and WCFBs are much smaller than the AFB carbs, you get really nasty choking conditions as the air flow passes from one medium to another with an adapter spacer. However, combined cross sectional area without the divider on the stock manifold is larger than the bores of an AFB, which means there is no chance for a choke condition except at the carburetor venturi (which would approach mach conditions). This also means that I'd have to make a custom spacer to fit an AFB carb to the intake (no biggie). As a part of the class, we get to custom make a machined part. Usually materials are supplied, but you can supply your own if you wish. So I'll most likely CNC a new spacer to specs and accurate tolerances as well as throw the intake on the mill. I've also bought the materials for a vacuum operated ignition switch design I formulated a while back. Hopefully I'll get some results fairly soon.

 

I've been working with the cockpit controls lead on some pressure calculations for the brake system. We're going with different sized calipers front to rear for a pressure difference in braking force. It's really got me thinking about disc brakes again, since my disc brake testing was with a different master cylinder. A byproduct of highway driving in heavy traffic coming home was apparent brake fade. Its the first time I've been subjected to it since putting the 12x2.5" drums on the front of my Buick and damn was it scary... Going from 75 to 35 is not something I care to repeat in the Buick because it was close. In case you guys didn't know, I drive my Buick. Hard. I've given up on aluminum drums at this point, truly a pipe dream. So, I'll be doing a few pressure calculations on different sizes of calipers, but really it'll be mainly focused around the Scarebird and the Wilwood kits. I'll use brake performance with the stock system as a basis. Without knowing the coefficient of friction of the pads, and the inherent difference between the two systems, it'll mostly be a comparison of clamping versus expanding due to pressure force (what you see at the piston face, wheel cylinders would be 2x calipers since there's two acting pistons, unless the caliper is multiple piston). Probably will stick with drums, but we will see.

 

Next weekend I'll be putting the WCFB back on. Again. Hobby drills or not, I just can't get behind the 4GC. Do you know how embarrassing it is to stall at an intersection? I'm sure you all know, but still... I'd rather buy an Edelbrock and an AFR gauge than go back to either two, but lack of money right now. My last bit of spending money is going to a beefier anti-sway bar and some Bilstein shocks.

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The end to end play on your steering gear is unbelievably bad if it came from the rebuilder like that.  Did you have any discussions with the rebuilder? 

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Ben - the WOT from a stop sign was a minor issue from day 1. Remember there were many changes in engine size and carburetor design during this period. The modification of the idle tubes is a work-around, as is advancing the static timing a few degrees.

 

The actual problem is that the 1956 Rochester has no auxiliary air valve. For 1957, Rochester added the auxiliary valve to the secondary.

 

On the 1956 carb, WOT activates the secondary. On the 1957 carb, WOT opens the secondary throttle plates, but the auxiliary air valve prevents air from flowing in the secondary until a pre-determined vacuum is present in the intake. This solved the issue.

 

Opening the throttle maybe only half way for 1/2 a second and then flooring the throttle might also work, maybe worth a try.

 

Jon.

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That conversion kit for the jeep box..I was under the impression it used a rag joint.. At least that's what they show it using installed in one of their pics..

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Jon, the 56 4GC does have an auxiliary air valve, same as the WCFB. Unless you mean internal. I guess I shouldn't say wide open throttle, it's more like part throttle take off. Any take off, really, and it dies unless I baby it. 

 

Kgreen, yes and no. At the same time they also destroyed my power steering box by adding a washer on the outside of the front bearing. This destroyed the pulley and the shaft. I was told I installed it wrong (only goes on one way??). The steering box was another story I can't remember right now but it's supposed to have a lifetime warranty. Maybe this weekend I'll snap a photo of the sticker. 

 

I'll have to look at that steering kit again, but I don't think he'll split it since I don't want the pump at all. It's cheaper if I make it another machine shop project anyways. 

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I talked to him about a year ago on using the modern pump or my original he said he could do either with the kit.. But no he won't sale just the brackets I tried lol

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