Beemon

Me and my beautiful 1956 Buick

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On 8/10/2017 at 2:10 AM, Beemon said:

and hopefully we can get the motor out to do a bottom up inspection (remove crank, replace seal.

 

I know you've got the engine in/out process streamlined, but there's no need to pull the engine to fix the rear main leak.  In fact, it may be better to simply re-pack the upper seal and leave the crank in place.  Remember the golden rule with old jalopies: KISS!  ;)

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You're right, I have tried Willie's trick before so I'm no stranger to the operation. Whichever way I go, I leave Monday so definitely no time for anything now.

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 Nice to hear the story about of your car, good and bad, and of course that you have brought it back to life. By coincidence, my affair with old Buicks started with my grandfather's '56 as well. Your grandfather bought the car early in his life, mine bought his late in his life. It was his last car, bought new a couple of years before he retired, a 1956 Buick Roadmaster 4 door hardtop, white and green, which he drove until his sudden death in 1968. I was born in '53, and I remember riding around in the car with him, and other family very well. It was a great car, which had well over 100,000 miles on it, and still ran well when he passed. The body was another story though! Over ten years of Eastern Canadian winters had taken its' toll on it.

Some other relatives got the car, and although their intentions were good, it never did see the road again, except to be towed away for scrap about 15 years later.

 I don't mean to hijack your thread or anything, but your story is much like mine, only some of the dates have been changed!

 Keith

Edited by Buicknutty (see edit history)
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23 hours ago, Beemon said:

... I leave Monday so definitely no time for anything now...

 

Want to wish you the best of luck in school!  Drive safe and do well! 

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8 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

 

Want to wish you the best of luck in school!  Drive safe and do well! 

 

Thanks John, I'm going to need it!

 

Finally marked off everything on my list of things to do. I picked up a Group 31 battery from NAPA yesterday. I kept hearing this rattling noise over speed bumps... turns out it was he Group 27 battery... I even made my own wire leads, so now it looks all purdy. I was also pulled over yesterday, the officer told me my brake lights were out. It was partially true. I guess with the hydraulic switch only turns the brake lights on if the pedal is to the metal. I didn't get a ticket because I could prove they worked, just not very well... so I got this plastic button switch and fastened it to the steering column using U bolts and a 90 degree piece of steel. I just popped the leads out of the old switch connecter, ran them through the firewall at the power antenna, and plugged it in. Works with the slightest touch of the brake pedal now! Lastly, I put the electric wipers on. If there's one thing I remember from orientation back in March, it's that I'm glad I was one of few on the highway going up and down the mountain passes. I think I've talked about the conversion before, but the washer jar lid is off of a 1956 Packard/Cadillac/Lincoln, take your pick.

 

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On 8/11/2017 at 6:51 PM, Buicknutty said:

 Nice to hear the story about of your car, good and bad, and of course that you have brought it back to life. By coincidence, my affair with old Buicks started with my grandfather's '56 as well. Your grandfather bought the car early in his life, mine bought his late in his life. It was his last car, bought new a couple of years before he retired, a 1956 Buick Roadmaster 4 door hardtop, white and green, which he drove until his sudden death in 1968. I was born in '53, and I remember riding around in the car with him, and other family very well. It was a great car, which had well over 100,000 miles on it, and still ran well when he passed. The body was another story though! Over ten years of Eastern Canadian winters had taken its' toll on it.

Some other relatives got the car, and although their intentions were good, it never did see the road again, except to be towed away for scrap about 15 years later.

 I don't mean to hijack your thread or anything, but your story is much like mine, only some of the dates have been changed!

 Keith

 

Keith, thanks for sharing. The more I share my story, I hear a lot of "stopped running in the late 70s" type stories. It's a shame the car went to the scrapper. When I was given the car back in 2010, my mother was furious. She wanted it sent to the scrapper and was angry at my grandfather for even offering it to me. I got a lot of "you'll lose interest" or "it's not worth anything" and my favorite "it won't even be worth half as much as what it'll cost to restore". Yet here I am, 7 years later. 5 years of saving to get the car to the state patrol, and 2 years of enjoyment (for the most part). With all the money I've spent, I probably could have gotten a decent used car. But I like what I have, rust and all. The day I die is the day I say goodbye.

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Funny coincidence regarding your brake lights, mine quit yesterday too...

Was almost home and saw a new Charger (or something) coming up behind me and knowing I was going to pull into my driveway shortly up ahead, turned on my signal and stopped by the curb to let him go by. This late twenty year old slowed up beside me with the passenger window down and said with a scowl, "You know you have no brake lights on that THING right?"

Told him they were working when I left but would check the fuse.

He responded in that same tone, "Thought you needed a heads up" and proceeded to blast on up to the stop sign....

 

Sorry for the inconvenience, but glad you were paying attention. ;)

 

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Ben, you amaze me sometimes.  Nice fix on the brake light switch. And the mirror? Don't let Mom see it:P.   For all my years, I would not have thought of that.  Now one , maybe more, will be on my work bench. 

 

  Good learning in school. The way you think, I have NO doubt you will be successful.

 

  Ben

Edited by Ben Bruce aka First Born (see edit history)
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39 minutes ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

Now one , maybe more, will be on my work bench.

 

Best part is at my age I can just flip it over and use the concave side...  ;)

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Good workaround Benjamin! reminds me when I was 10 and of the bicycle horn and button I rigged up on a fishing rod holder to sound when I got a bite. 

Sounds like it's time  to change gears and give em hell in Engineering school. Good luck brotha!

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Doug, I get a of those up here. There is a local illegal street race group and you can always tell who they are because their exhaust is made from a Folger's can. The brake light switch and brackets must have cost me no more than $10, so not expensive at all. The best part is that it's not permanent and can be reverted at any time. If you're planning on driving it, I highly recommend changing over. Better to be safe in the presence of modern day motorists than sorry on your way out. 

 

Thanks everyone for the kind words. Tonight is my last night so it's a little "emotional" for some in the family. When we head out tomorrow, I'll be sure to take many pictures of the drive. I wish I had a spare of everything for the trip, kind of why I swapped every vintage part out. It's not that I don't trust them, but on the long haul I'd rather have stuff I can replace at the counter than 61 year old stuff that could fatigue at any time. Regardless, I'm taking the generator, air cleaner and WCFB with me along with all the other stuff I removed. I don't know what's over there in terms of service stations yet, but I might end up putting the good looking stuff back on. Just to keep me busy or something. 

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Safe travels Ben and keep us posted on your progress at school and of course your car.

With your talent and new connections at school I'll bet 'should' something happen to the car, you will get lots of offers to help with her. :)

 

I have been fascinated with my sons education who will be finished the end of this month getting his Masters in Mechanical Engineering. I will miss our conversations once he moves out and on to a new job and is hopefully going to announce an official engagement which means moving on with his life (all of which I'm very happy for).

I will soon know of the emotional feelings you are experiencing only from the parental side.

 

Wishing only good things for you.

Doug

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Well I stole your idea.. Just rigged up my own brake light switch pretty much like yours.. Always annoyed me u had to be pushing on the brakes a bit before they would light up.. Not anymore:) be safe out there

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4 hours ago, dei said:

I have been fascinated with my sons education who will be finished the end of this month getting his Masters in Mechanical Engineering. I will miss our conversations once he moves out and on to a new job and is hopefully going to announce an official engagement which means moving on with his life (all of which I'm very happy for).

 

Make sure he takes his car(s), car parts, and anything else that's in your garage when he goes. ;)

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22 hours ago, KongaMan said:

Make sure he takes his car(s), car parts, and anything else that's in your garage when he goes. ;)

 

Not to high jack Ben's thread but....

All in good time, all in good time. -_- 

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Finally got settled in at the dorm with computer and internet setup. Here are some pics of the journey.

 

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My girlfriend thought the Antique Fruits was pretty funny. I think she said something along the lines of "who would want to eat old fruit?" oops

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Terrific pictures!  Love the west!  So open!  Looks like it was a good ride! 

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Ride was smooth. I made sure to triple lube the suspension before leaving. No squeaks except for the metal to metal trim pieces at the door jam (screws keep coming loose). I achieved approximately 17.5 MPG from Seattle to Yakima, where I refueled. When I got into town, I didn't realize how hilly the terrain was, and the car started vapor locking on me going up and down the hills after the five and a half hour drive. At one point, loss of power was so great it almost bogged going up a large grade hill and the only reason I survived was because of Low gear. Of course, all these issues went away after I unloaded the cargo and let the car sit overnight. I haven't had an issue since, though the car is running a little rich at 2500 elevation. Good thing I brought my tool box, vacuum gauges, timing light and tachometer! Also only burned through a quart of oil, but I blame the leaky rear main and probably the PCV system for that. Now that I'm here, I'm probably going to revert a lot of the stuff. I'm really finicky about this type of stuff, and should probably not listen to my father, whom goaded me into installing the alternator, Edelbrock, etc. before leaving. He was one of those guys who hot rodded in the 70s and threw out the q-jets and thermoquads and replaced them with the Carter comp series, bought the big MSD box and other go fast parts. Newer is better he says. Still not convinced.

Also tore at the WCFB today in the men's restroom here on the 11th floor with nothing but compressed air and water. Kept at it until I didn't see any more particulates. My buddy boiled water in his coffee pot for me to douse the carb with, seemed to work pretty good in the sink... resident hall advisor had walked in on us, asking what we were doing. We told him it was a science experiment and he walked off. Air horn gasket still looks good, no signs of shrinking and all the holes still line up so I sprayed it with some WD-40 to moisten it up and tightened down the screws. The floats were still ok, used a 3/16" drill bit to check float height and a 7/16" bit to check float drop. Go to reach for my WCFB gasket in my tool box and - oops! Left it at home! That's okay, after doing some research, Mr. Gasket #57 is 1 7/16" square bore, which is what I measured on the bottom of the WCFB. O'Reilly here in town has them in stock, so I'll just end up tracing out the carb base with an exacto knife and then use a hole punch for the stud holes.

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1 hour ago, Beemon said:

science experiment

Nice response.  If this is your everyday and only transportation, limit the 'experiments' to small and doable things.  My profile picture shows a cylinder head being scraped...it was installed and running to get me to class the next morning.  Another time I removed the distributor late in the evening (don't remember why) but some *&^ dumbass cranked the engine while it was out.  Then it started raining.  Finally found the compression stroke of #1 cylinder, but then  had to line up the oil pump.  Cold and wet I went to bed at 3am to get up for an exam at 6am that I should have been studying for!

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No doubt! I'm parked on campus and we scoped out our classes. A good 15 minute walk from the dorm up hill, no parking. I think the only real driving I'll be doing is to the local Wally World and occasional barn adventure at 2 am.

 

By the way, the Mr. Gasket gasket is the right throttle bore, wrong spacing. So I got some gasket material. Good thing I brought my ball peen hammer. On a side note, I may have a job lined up for weekends and off days at a mom and pop auto parts store. Their old boy who knew classics quit recently and I just happen to roll into town in a 56 Buick. Bringing the car has already paid off! 

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1 hour ago, Beemon said:

we scoped out our classes. A good 15 minute walk from the dorm up hill

 

Both ways I presume?  

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16 minutes ago, JohnD1956 said:

 

Both ways I presume?  

No, thankfully the walk down to the dorms from the top of campus is much more forgiving.

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So looks like I left my ball peen hammer at home... good thing I brought my brass drift punch! It's a little rough around the edges... I lighty went around the edges of the carb base to get a base groove cut, and then used an exacto knife to cut out a rough edge. Still trimming, but should be good to go soon. I signed it because it's a one of a kind. :)

 

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Somehow in my infinite wisdom, I have forgotten my road draft tube at home. It's being put in a box and shipped up along with all the other stuff I've forgotten... in the mean time, I don't think it would be wise to drive the car without the road draft tube, so the PCV will stay put. Maybe I shouldn't have taken it off in the first place? :unsure:

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